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Arlington County Officials Grow Government on Backs of Taxpayers

Arlington County prides itself on being a “caring” community. In fact, the term is included in the county’s vision statement. How caring, though, is a county that cares more about the size of its government than the financial health of its citizens?

Unfortunately, that’s the primary conclusion one arrives at when looking through the county’s budget books. In 1997, real estate taxes were $1,834 on the average single-family home. By 2006, the number has grown to $4,432, an increase of almost 142%. [these numbers appear on page 62 of the county’s adopted FY 2007 budget] On the other hand, personal income of Arlington residents has increased by approximately 54% during those 10 years. “Approximately” because exact numbers are not included with the graph I used to make that determination. [see graph of personal income in the “county profile” in section A of the county’s proposed FY2007 budget]

If the average real estate tax payment had grown at the same pace as personal income over the 10-year period, Arlington homeowners would have about $1,600 more this year to spend on their own health and happiness. Tell me who is greedy, Arlington's taxpayers or Arlington's local government?