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How does the Arlington County Board Justify This?

According to Wednesday’s DC Examiner, “The Arlington County Manager’s Office, in a report on the proposed 2007 budget, warned that homeowners are shouldering much of the real estate tax burden, as home prices are outpacing office space prices.” That wasn’t a real surprise to most Arlington taxpayers since we bear the complete cost of the Arlington County Board.

But the Examiner also reported, “County real estate tax revenue more than doubled from approximately $165 million in 1995 to an estimated $420 million in 2007, according to Arlington budget projections and financial records.” According to my calculator, that’s a 155% increase in 10 years. At the same time, inflation was only 25.5%, according to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the view of most taxpayers, then, I'm sure, the County Board raised real estate taxes six times faster than inflation.

The County Board likes to talk in terms of such progressive shibboleths as social justice, but it is apparent that social justice is not a concept applied to taxpayers.