The Arlington Sun Gazette reports on Arlington County's 2017 real estate property assessments, which were released last Friday., writing:
"Modest assessment increases in both the residential and commercial segments of the real estate market were reported by Arlington government officials on Jan. 13. But property owners will have to wait until later in the spring to see what their 2017 tax bills will look like.
"The average assessed value of all residential properties – single-family, attached and condominiums – for 2017 is $617,200, up 2.3 percent from $603,500 a year before. That increase seems in line with the local real estate market, which saw relatively strong sales in 2016 but no great bump up in average prices.
"The average assessment on commercial property in the county rose 3.4 percent, with about half the increase due to new construction and much of the rest due to higher assessments on hotels. The apartment and office-building sectors were relatively flat."
The weekly newspaper also points out that in "most jurisdictions, where commercial property represents a quarter or less of overall assessed value, Arlington’s tax base is roughly evenly split between residential and commercial."
Arlington Countty's January 13 press release is here. It says "property values up modestly," and includes five bullet points:
- Overall increase of 2.9 percent
- Average residential property up 2.3 percent, to $617,200
- New constructions slightly boosts office value, up 0.6 percent
- 6 percent growth in existing hotel property values
- 2017 assessments available online at 11 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13
The press release also notes the following about commercial property assessments:
"Commercial properties, including office buildings, apartments, hotels and retail, increased 3.4 percent. The increase was fueled by 1.6 percent growth from new construction across the commercial sectors and by 14.6 percent growth in existing hotels, reflecting the strength of Arlington’s tourism market. Existing office property values remained flat, while existing apartments increased 1.9 percent — these two sectors represent 82 percent of the commercial tax base."
In addition, the press release provides the following information about the FY 2018 budget outlook:
"Arlington, like all local governments in Virginia, relies heavily on revenue generated from real estate property taxes to fund services to residents, tourists and employees of the businesses located here.
"As the County develops its Fiscal Year 2018 Budget (the fiscal year runs from July 2017 through June 2018), it faces pressures from Metro and from Arlington Public Schools. As the County continues to experience population growth, particularly along the Metro corridors, and growth in student enrollment, there is increasing demand for existing and new services and for new facilities.
"Maintaining the Metro system is critical for the economic health and growth of our community and for Arlington’s environmental sustainability. With the Washington Metropolitan Transportation Authority (WMATA) facing unprecedented budget pressures and maintenance needs, we expect contributions from local jurisdictions to significantly increase in FY 2018, putting more pressure on our budget. Arlington will continue to work closely with WMATA and our jurisdictional partners to resolve WMATA’s budget gap.
"The challenge facing the County and Schools as they approach the FY 2018 budget is that revenue is expected to be less than projected expenditures."
Finally, the county makes the following points about real estate assessments:
"Real estate assessments are appraisals. They are the County’s opinions of value for each parcel of real property in Arlington. The assessments are made using accepted methods, standards and techniques of the real estate appraisal and assessment profession. For more information, visit the County webpages on real estate assessments." (embedded link from the original). Information about assessment appeals can be found there.
Will wonders never cease? Once again, the Arlington County Board looks set to read a windfall from the rising assessments, which is exactly why local jurisdictions in Virginia are required to compute -- before budget adoption in the Spring -- an effective tax rate increase.
Given the implications for taxpayers, Growls readers may want to direct questions to the Arlington County Board. Just click-on the link below:
- Call the School Board office at (703) 228-6015
And tell them ACTA sent you.