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County Board to Arlington Taxpayers: Eat Cake

At its last work session before formally adopting the Fiscal Year 2004 budget and setting the real estate tax rate on Saturday, April 26, that is essentially what Board members told Arlington's taxpayers. The Board "balanced" the needs of its special interests against the need of taxpayers for a significant reduction in the real estate tax rate, and the special interests won. Board member Barbara Favola (D) is quoted in today's Washington Post saying "We will not back away from funding the things this community sees as important." According to one citizen who attended the meeting, there was no discussion of what a 15.5% increase in taxes on the average $316,000 residence would do to Arlington's middle class. Rather, there was a great deal of self-congratulation about the chair's leadership on the budget process, the "fiscal benefits of (Arlington) being so well-managed," and listing out the spending for this and spending for that special interest.

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