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Civic Federation to County Board: NO Increase in Tax Rate

At yesterday evening's monthly meeting of the Arlington County Civic Federation, the Arlington Sun Gazette's Scott McCaffrey reports that delegates voted 22-15 to urge the County Board to balance the FY 2016 budget with no increase in the real estate tax rate. The first few paragraphs of McCaffrey's report follows:

"It didn’t come without a healthy dose of wrangling over parliamentary procedure, but the Arlington County Civic Federation on April 7 backed County Manager Barbara Donnellan’s $1.15 billion budget proposal, and called on County Board members not to raise the real estate tax rate to pay for projects not included in the manager’s spending plan.

"The 22-15 vote was a victory of the federation’s conservative revenues and expenditures committee, which had unanimously recommended keeping the tax rate at 99.6 cents per $100 assessed valuation. That’s lower than the $1.011-per-$100 rate advertised earlier in the budget season by County Board members.

"The committee recommendation, adopted by the full body, asks County Board members to lower the tax rate if possible, but gives no guidance on how to go about doing it.

"The County Board is set to vote on the government’s fiscal 2016 budget, and set tax rates, on April 18.

"Burt Bostick, acting chairman of the committee, said that when County Board members in 2014 ignored a Civic Federation resolution calling for lowering the tax rate, the county government ended up with a “huge” surplus borne on the backs of residents who are still facing lingering effects of the recession."

Read the remainder of Scott McCaffrey's report here. It includes comments by several delegates and wranglings involving Robert's Rules. There are also several astute comments by members of the Federation's Revenues & Expenditures Committee, which submitted the resolution. Your humble scribe even offered this observation:

"Tim Wise, president of the Arlington County Taxpayers Association and a member of the revenues and expenditures committee, said the county government needs to dig deep and evaluate why it spends what it does.

"A top-to-bottom review could benefit both the government and taxpayers, he said.

“Arlington County by and large – not every case, but by and large – is a high-cost provider of services,” Wise said. “Only when you get down in the weeds . . . will you find the information you’re looking for.”

The Arlington County Civic Federation's website is here.

Growls readers who have not yet told members of the Arlington County Board that Arlington County taxpayers are overtaxed and under-served are urged to take a few minutes to tell Board members to cut the real estate tax rate. Just click-on the link below:

  • Call the County Board office at (703) 228-3130.

And tell them ACTA sent you.


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