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Shocking 2004 Real Estate Assessment Notices

Arlington's 2004 real estate assessment notices were dumped in the mail last Friday with some residents receiving them on Saturday. Most residents are probably still in shock. Overall, residential assessments increased by 17.0%, but ranged from a low of 12.3% in some areas of north Arlington to as much as much as 25.1% in much of the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. This week's edition of the Arlington Sun-Gazette (online edition) has the story on their front-page. Although the paper notes such increases are "likely to lead to calls for . . . (a) lower tax rate," the paper notes that "Arlington government leaders have chosen to emphasize to residents that they are paying lower tax rates than those in surrounding jurisdictions."

It is more important than ever this year that Arlington homeowners join ACTA members in demanding the County Board significantly lower the real estate tax rate to fully offset the increase in assessments. Remember that the assessor doesn't raise your taxes; rather it is the County Board that raises real estate taxes when they set the real estate tax rate.

You can research the real estate assessments in your neighborhood at the county's website. You can learn more about fighting your property taxes in a publication ("How to Fight Property Taxes") from the National Taxpayers Union, headquartered in Alexandria.

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