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So Much for Arlington County's 'Lowest Tax Rate'

When Arlington taxpayers complain about their taxes to Arlington County Board members, the usual mantra is that Arlington has the lowest tax rate in the region. Well, that may be true, but among the four counties in Northern Virginia (Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William), Arlington taxpayers have by far the highest tax burden of the four.

A project at Radford University’s Government and Nonprofit Assistance Center maintains a database of performance measures for Virginia governments, which enable one to compare both the financial and non-financial performance of Virginia’s local governments. Below are the comparative numbers for three performance measures:

  • County/Taxes/Debt/Net Expenses (all per capita)
  • Arlington/$2,628/$3,431/$3,715
  • Fairfax/$2,186/$4,278/$2,819
  • Loudoun/$2,164/$4,187/$2,958
  • Prince William/$1,444/$2,619/$2.001

Confront your favorite Board member with those facts. As we've said for many years, "ordinary services, extraordinary prices!"


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