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An Argument Familiar to ACTA Members

Over the years, ACTA members have watched County Board members dance around the issue of taxes and tax rates, always avoiding the fact that Arlington taxpayers are paying higher taxes every year. For example, according to information from the FY2006 proposed budget, since 2000, per capita income of Arlington's taxpayers is up 19.1%, but tax bills on the average residence is up 94%, even though tax rates have been reduced 14.5 cents since 2000. Now come the two major candidates for Virginia governor (Tim Kaine (D) and Jerry Kilgore (R)), and their battling advertisements. The headline of one article in today's Augusta Free Press asks, "Did Kaine cut taxes? Or didn't he?" According to the political analyst cited by the paper, "Does a vote to cut a tax rate make one a tax cutter? What happens when property assessments rise and wipe out any cuts that would come from action on the tax rate? This is the sort of debate where both sides can present their cases, and both be right because there's really no right or wrong answer." There may indeed be no right answer, but it's an argument ACTA members recognize well.

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