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Arlington County Board’s Appetite for Your Taxes Continues

Tuesday evening marked perhaps the most important milestone in the Fiscal Year 2009 budget cycle as the Board provided their budget guidance to the County Manager for preparing the budget the Board will approve in April 2008. The Arlington Sun-Gazette begins their report thus:

“The Arlington County government is anticipating $31 million in extra revenue in its next fiscal year, but that won't be nearly enough to cover the government's expenses without tax increases or belt-tightening.

“That, to sum it up, is the early assessment of County Manager Ron Carlee, whose fiscal 2009 budget forecast went to County Board members on Nov. 27.

“For now, Carlee is predicting a $17 million shortfall even with a relatively bare-bones budget package.

“It is a very preliminary look, and if recent history is a guide, it may prove an overly dramatic view of a looming fiscal crunch. But it is the official starting point of the fiscal 2009 budget process, which will continue in February when Carlee presents his billion-dollar county spending proposal to board members.”

The newspaper also reported that Wayne Kubicki, Republican and former member of the County Board’s Fiscal Affairs Advisory Commission:

“said it would soon be time for the County Board to get serious about how it spends tax dollars.”

Specifically, Kubicki said:

“There must be priorities in our billion-dollar budget . . . Most folks would put education and public safety at the top. Let’s see what staff thinks is at the bottom of that billion-dollar pile, and let’s talk about them.”

Taxpayers can read the entire County Manager’s report to the Board detailing specific buduget guidance; it is agenda item 37 (requires Adobe).

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