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The Arlington County Board and Your Annual Income

In yesterday’s Growls about the Arlington County Board’s Thursday tax rate hearing, I included this paragraph from the Sun Gazette’s story:

“Federal taxes are going up, state taxes are going up, real estate taxes are going up,” Atkins said. “Everything is going up except the earnings of the average resident of Arlington.”

What about the annual earnings of Arlington’s residents, however? Well, we don’t have any information on that, but James Pethokoukis blogged earlier this week at the American Enterprise Institute’s AEIdeas that “US median annual income falls 1.1% in February, down 6% since the start of the recovery.” He cited the following two paragraphs from the New York Times’ blog, Economix:

  • “Median annual household income in February 2013 was $51,404, about 1.1 percent (or $590) lower than the January 2013 level of $51,994. The numbers are all pretax, and are adjusted for both inflation and seasonal changes.”
  • “February’s median annual household income was 5.6 percent lower than it was in June 2009, the month the recovery technically began; 7.3 percent lower than in December 2007, when the most recent recession officially started; and 8.4 percent lower than in January 2000, the earliest date that this statistical series became available.”

The New York Times' reporter added a link to an article by their reporter David Leonhardt, which provided "some possible theories" of why "incomes (are) stagnating, even falling?" The article requires a Times subscription, but is dated August 20, 2012.

The following chart is from Pethokoukis' blog post:

Here is the link link to the Sentier Research's source report cited in the Economix story and in Pethokoukis' chart above,

Bob Atkins' advice that the Board follow the Manager's recommendation, and approve no more than a 3.2 cents increase in the real estate tax rate seems more than sound. Else, as Atkins said, the Board should "get a visa on their passport so they can visit economic reality."


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