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Pleas for Fiscal Restraint and More Spending

The Arlington Sun Gazette’s Scott McCaffrey reports on last night’s tax-rate hearing in an online story he posted today. Although the turnout was disappointing in comparison to the number that turned out the previous two evenings in support of their special interests, the turnout was larger than previous years. The speakers' comments ranged from those seeking more fiscal restraint by the Arlington County Board to those who urged the Board to approve every cent that was advertised.

McCaffrey summed up what is at risk this way:

“County Board members have advertised a 2010 real estate tax rate of 96.5 cents per $100 assessed value, up 9 cents - or 10.2 percent - from the current rate. Board members are slated to set a final rate on April 24; they can set the rate as high as the advertised figure, but could enact a lower rate.

“Despite the decline of assessed value of real estate over the past year, most homeowners would end up paying more over the coming year.

“A typical Arlington household will see its total annual bill for county-government services rise $235, to $6,286, under acting County Manager Barbara Donnellan’s proposed budget, a figure that would rise higher if County Board members push tax rates and fees beyond what the manager has proposed.”

It is not too late to tell the County Board to keep the rate at $87.5 cents per $100 of assessed value. Call the Board office at 703-228-3130 to voice your opinion on where the real estate tax rate should be set, or write them at:

    countyboard (at) arlingtonva.us

By the way, do those speakers who urge the Board to spend more, contribute to the Commonwealth's Tax Me More fund, or do they just want the Board to plunder the taxes of the rest of us? Just wondering!

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