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Computing the Arlington County Board's Greed

Gerald Prante of the Tax Foundation posted a table yesterday with the latest Census Bureau data on growth in property taxes from 2000 to 2005. Wyoming ranked first among the states with a 48.7% change in per capita property taxes (stated in 2005 dollars). Virginia ranked 18th as the average payment went from $959 to $1,109 statewide, a change of 15.7%.

According to Prante:

“Nationwide, property taxes increased by nearly 28 percent over the five-year period. Adjusted for inflation (CPI-U), that amounts to about a 12.7 percent increase in real property tax burdens, an average of about a 2.5 percent real increase each year.”

Arlington County’s property taxes far outdistanced Virginia’s average for the five years, and easily outdistanced Wyoming’s increase. The average property tax bill for Arlington County in 2000 was $2,074 and grew to $4,023 for 2005, an increase of 94%. After adjusting the 2000 amount to 2005 dollars, using the DoL’s Bureau of Labor Statistics’ “Inflation Calculator,” means the average tax bill in Arlington grew 71%.

So, no matter how you compare it, the Arlington County Board extracted a whole lot of property taxes from Arlington taxpayers. Arlington County data is available here.


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