Arlington County Budget Still on Steroids?
The Arlington Sun-Gazette has posted their story on the FY 2007 budget, which the County Board approved on Saturday. Looks like Scott McCaffrey also had his pencil sharpened. McCaffrey begins with: “Arlington homeowners will pay an average of $400 more in real estate taxes this year, along with higher charges for everything from trash collection to water service to park fees, under the $920 million fiscal 2007 county government budget adopted Saturday.” He also captures the community’s seeming entitlement mentality: "County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman said the budget includes something for all in Arlington, from the well-off to those who are struggling. "It's a reflection of the values” of Arlington, said Zimmerman, who is seeking re-election in November. "Our budget must reflect our collective commitment to everyone in the community.”
As if to reinforce the Washington Post’s take (see yesterday’s Growls), McCaffrey reports that Wayne Kubicki, Arlington’s outstanding budget watchdog, “complained that the fiscal 2007 budget represents a 9.2-percent increase in spending, up $70 million from the current year and the highest annual increase, by percentage, in 17 years. As a result, Kubicki said, ‘Arlington's residential taxes still seem to be on steroids.’”
County Board members like words such as sustainability as in economic sustainability, environmental sustainability, etc. What they have yet to explain is how their spending is sustainable when it has consistently been twice the inflation rate. Rather, the Board's incessant tax increases seem designed to run more middle class families out of the county.
The Sun-Gazette also provides details about other taxes and fees that will further burden Arlington taxpayers. Budget on steroids? Sure looks like that to us.