The average Arlington County homeowner paid $4,341 in annual property taxes between 2005 and 2009. That makes Arlington 39th on the list of highest median property taxes in the country, according to a new report by the Tax Foundation, a D.C.-based think tank.
While that figure is relatively high, Arlington’s taxes are relatively low by other measures. Arlington residents paid a median 3.46 percent of their income in property taxes, which is only the 328th highest rate in the country. The percentage of one’s home value paid in property taxes by Arlington residents between 2005 and 2009 was 0.77 percent, the 1523th highest rate in the country.
By contrast, Fairfax County was 37th on the property tax list, with an median property tax bill of $4,371 per year — $30 above Arlington. The difference is a bit more pronounced when considering the tax rate. Fairfax County homeowners paid 0.84 percent of their home’s value and 3.53 percent of their income in property taxes.
Alexandria residents paid less in property taxes — $3,827 per year — but actually paid more as a percentage of home value — 0.78 percent. In terms of income, however, Alexandria residents paid less than Arlington — 3.33 percent of income.
Montgomery County residents paid less than Arlington residents in all three categories. They paid $3,497 in property taxes, which is 0.72 percent of home values and 3.07 percent of income. D.C. residents had the best deal — an average of $1,778 paid in property taxes per year, which is 0.4 percent of home values and 1.9 percent of income.
The lefthand lane on westbound Route 50 near the Courthouse Road exit has finally reopened, after more than a year of utility work.
The lane closure lasted about 10 months longer than originally anticipated. The utility work was performed in preparation for VDOT’s Courthouse interchange project, which is expected to get underway this month.
A tipster says the jersey walls separating the two righthand lanes of westbound Route 50 from the newly-paved lefthand lane were removed during the day on Friday.
The noisy annual Memorial Day weekend tradition will kick off on Friday, when motorcyclists from around the country will start flocking to the D.C. area to boost awareness of American prisoners of war and service members who went missing in action.
The Rolling Thunder headquarters hotel is the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, so South Arlington residents who live near Route 1, Route 110 and I-395 should expect to hear a lot of revving engines over the weekend.
As part of the rally, several roads will be closed near the Pentagon on Sunday. Washington Boulevard will be closed from I-395 to the Memorial Bridge from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. In addition, Arlington National Cemetery will only be accessible from the southbound GW Parkway or northbound Route 110.
Authorities are warning drivers in Northern Virginia to expect “large numbers of motorcyclists” and possible traffic delays on Sunday. The Rolling Thunder festivities will wrap up Sunday evening.
Within a year the area around Bob & Edith’s Diner (2310 Columbia Pike) will become a late night hub, complete with a 7-Eleven, a 6,500 square foot bar/restaurant and a 24-hour fitness center.
The first of the three new businesses to open will be Xsport Fitness, a 12,000 square foot, 24 hour per day, 365 day per year gym on the ground floor of the Siena Park apartment complex (2301 Columbia Pike).
If you’ve driven by during the day, you’ve probably seen muscle-bound Xsport representatives promoting discounted pre-opening memberships. General manager Matt Minuth, who can apparently bench press 900 pounds, says the company is offering free enrollment and a lifetime monthly rate of $19.95 for customers who sign up in advance. (Normally there is a $99 enrollment fee.)
Minuth says he expects the gym to open mid-July. In addition to modern fitness equipment, the gym will offer personal training sessions, tanning booths, a juice bar, a club store and a child care area.
Also located on the ground floor of the Siena Park apartments, William Jeffrey’s will offer “quality eclectic-American cuisine at reasonable prices,” according to a press release. The restaurant will feature “a well-stocked bar with several beers on tap, a full wine list, space for private parties, weekend brunch, live acoustic music, and multiple HDTVs.”
Restaurant partner Wilson Whitney says he’s hoping to have William Jeffrey’s open by mid-November.
Finally, a new 7-Eleven store is reportedly opening across the street, in the old Saah furniture store at 2330 Columbia Pike. According to Pike Wire, the new 7-Eleven — located just four blocks from an existing 7-Eleven — is expected to open in the first quarter of 2012.
The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the D.C. area through 6:00 p.m. tonight.
Forecasters say large hail and damaging winds are possible as storm activity starts to pick up in the early afternoon.
Arlington has had a lousy track record in terms of storm warnings this year, with many severe storms hitting to the north and south of the county, but skipping Arlington. We’ll see if this warning pans out.
You would have thought that gray skies and the threat of rain would have persuaded more people to stay at home but, alas, Sunday afternoon’s Taste of Arlington in Ballston was as crowded as ever.
Long lines snaked up and down the rows of food and drink vendors, at times making for human (and dog) traffic jams. The lines moved relatively fast, though, and most restaurants had enough food on hand to last well into the 4:00 hour. The award for longest line goes to Sangam Restaurant (1211 N. Glebe Road), which was practically offering an entire Indian dinner (complete with dessert) for two tickets.
There were numerous local ‘celebrity’ spottings, as presenting sponsor WJLA hauled out half of its news team and as local pols angled for votes. Among those spotted in the crowd were WJLA reporters Pamela Brown and Scott Thuman, as well as County Board reelection candidate Walter Tejada, Commonwealth’s Attorney candidate Theo Stamos and state Senate candidate Barbara Favola. We even spotted David Gaines, the host behind the classic Arlington County TV segment, “Know Your County Wastewater Plant.”
Here are a few photos from around the festival.
It’s not every day that a group of belly dancers spontaneously shows up outside a Metro station and starts performing for onlookers. But that’s exactly what happened Friday night when dancers from the Saffron Dance belly dancing school in Clarendon (3260 Wilson Blvd) organized their very own flash mob.
The ‘official’ video of the performance is above.
While some flash mobs have been greeted with looks of abject confusion from bystanders, Clarendonites seemed to know the drill — they took out their cell phones and cameras and started recording the encounter.
“All had a great time and there were no arrests,” the video’s YouTube page notes.
H/t to Danielle H.
Shirlington Village Blog reports that a new store called Ah Love Oil & Vinegar hopes to open in Shirlington in two weeks.
According to its Facebook page, the store will offer “over 35 olive oils and aged balsamic vinegars… bottled on the premises for you.” The oils will be imported from around the world and dispensed from air-tight tanks, which will “[ensure] the best flavor intensity.” Each purchase will include recipes and mixing ideas.
The store will also offer olive oil-based soaps, skin and hair care products and a limited selection of foods to accompany the oils and vinegars.
We thought the store’s concept sounded interesting, but wondered about the business potential for a store built around two products that many people consider a twice-a-year purchase at the grocery store. Would you go out of your way to purchase olive oil or balsamic vinegar from a dedicated store?
APS High Schools Ranked in Top One Percent – Arlington’s public high schools each ranked in the top one percent of the Washington Post’s national Challenge Index rankings. H-B Woodlawn ranked the highest at #46, and was #1 among Washington area high schools. Wakefield was at the bottom of the pack at #367 nationally and #50 locally. The Challenge Index measures the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Cambridge tests taken by all students at a high school in 2010. [Arlington Public Schools]
Lopez Attracts Local Political Support — House of Delegates 49th District candidate Alfonso Lopez has named County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman and County Sheriff Beth Arthur as co-chairs of his campaign. Lopez will face Stephanie Dix Clifford in the August 23 Democratic primary. [Sun Gazette]