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Board Approves New $1 Billion FY 2012 Budget

by ARLnow.com — April 16, 2011 at 3:00 pm 768 10 Comments

Today the Arlington County Board unanimously approved a new $1 billion budget.

The budget is 5.1 percent higher than its previous budget, but yet contained no tax rate increase. Rising property assessments allowed the board to keep the property tax rate steady at 95.8 cents per $100. The personal and business property taxes will remain the same. Trash and recycling fees will decrease by 5 percent.

“Taking into account increase in real estate assessments and fee changes, the overall tax and fee burden for the average Arlington homeowner will increase 1.4% — or about $7 a month — an increase less than the current Baltimore-Washington region inflation rate of 3%,” the county said in a statement.

The budget includes increased funding for housing and ‘safety net’ programs, as well as a number of other priorities. Funding for Arlington Public Schools will increase $38 million, or 9 percent, to $480.5 million.

  • MC

    There is no free lunch — if the County budget is growing faster than the rate of inflation, then the County taxpayer, directly or indirectly, is facing cost burden to finance to growing spending appetite that is faster than the rate of inflation. Which means it is unsustainable in the long run.

    • Thes

      The rate of State and Federal subsidies in this budget fell again this year, in real dollar terms. Ultimately, that can’t go lower than zero, but it could go up some day. Meanwhile, this year alone, county employee benefits went up 14%. That’s probably not a rate that will continue.

      • NArl

        What 14% increase they got a 1% increase if that, health care now cost them more, and so does paying for retirement. Where is the 14%?

    • mehoo

      If the population and business base is growing, so is the tax base, and the need for services.

  • NArl

    Where is the 3% cost of living increase for public safety workers? A pay increase of 1% – 3% cost of living is a 2% loss for police and firefighters.

    • AllenB

      If you read through the budget docs you’ll see that the 1% increase is only for the people already at the top of the payscale. All other county employees are eligible for a full step increase.

  • 4Arl

    The cost of benefits is counted as compensation even if you as an employee get nothing. The management has done a good job of making the increases look like prudent management, but there are few people to call them on it with one party rule. Ironically, Dems were supposed to care about low and moderate income workers. Think of the shifting of healthcare costs. The impact to a six figure salary is small while they have been hammering lower paid staff. When it comes to pay though, the top gets increases worth thousands now and much more in retirement. Who is going to care?

  • boo

    Why has the APS funding increased so much? I thought it was a mandatory percent of revenue, is that it? Don’t get me wrong, I have two kids there, but I do think the number of specialists and administrators running around is just nuts. Or is it to cover the costs of the lawsuit resulting from the Williamsburg/Francis fiasco?

    • Thes

      Moar keds.

    • 4Arl

      Good catch. No kidding, it looks like the schools made out like bandits from this budget, but I have no idea where the money will go. The superintendent had proposed a $19.2 Million increase in the county transfer in the FY12 budget, and the county press release cites a $25.2 Million increase. The county manager’s proposal had been a $17.8 million increase.
      The revenue sharing agreement is a kludge between two elected boards, or collaboration, as it were: http://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/CountyManager/SchoolsCollab/page73939.aspx

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