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Outlook not Good for Significant Cut in Real Estate Tax Rate

A press release this morning from Arlington County reported on the results of the first of two Arlington County Board "wrap-up" budget worksessions.The release noted the Board "endorse a comprehensive package of measures addressing housing affordability and homeowner tax relief -- most significantly, a program that could reduce or freeze tax bills for an estimated 3,500 Arlington households. We growled about on this so-called targeted tax relief homeowner grant program last week, and according to the press release, the Board adopted the program much like the Manager proposed. Assuming the Board adopts the remainder of the Manager's budget, the Board would cut little more than the Manager's proposal, which was to cut the real estate tax rate by 5 cents. As we noted last week, the Civic Federation prepared a budget balanced with a cut of 11 cents while Arlington's Sharp Pencil is guessing a final rate cut of 7 to 8 cents. This week's Sun-Gazette's "Political Notes" (currently online) also contains several predictions.

The Board's second "wrap-up" budget worksession is schedule for tomorrow morning. Two years ago, ElGrowlerGrande attended the Board's final wrap-up worksession, and notes the Watchdog editor called it the "potlatch affair" where the Board rewards various special interest groups with small presents. Tomorrow's meeting is expected to be much the same.

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