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Arlington Bracing For Major Budget Shortfall Next Year

by ARLnow.com — October 26, 2012 at 1:30 pm 7,257 162 Comments

Arlington is facing an estimated $50 million budget gap next fiscal year as the county’s prodigious rise in property values stalls and as federal and state cutbacks impact the county’s bottom line.

As reported by the Arlington County Taxpayers Association and confirmed to ARLnow.com by a senior county official, a $50 million budget gap — about $25 million for the county government and $25 million for Arlington Public Schools — is projected for Fiscal Year 2014.

In a “budget outlook” presentation to the County Board and School Board on Wednesday, Arlington County Manager Barbara Donnellan said the economy is weak, local office vacancies are a concern and overall property values and county tax revenues are only expected to grow by 1 percent.

Arlington Public Schools, meanwhile, is anticipating nearly $4 million of its shortfall to come from federal and state school funding cuts.

Donnellan has asked department heads to identify possible budget cuts in anticipation of a difficult budget process.

The budget concerns come as the county pushes forward with two major capital projects that have drawn scrutiny from local budget hawks: the planned Columbia Pike streetcar and the Long Bridge Park Aquatics and Fitness Center (part of the parks bond on the Nov. 6 ballot). Arlington Public Schools, meanwhile, is in the midst of an extended period of school building and expansion expected to cost more than $250 million over the next ten years.

  • southarlington

    So if we have budget shortfall we should not be building the trolley or Long Branch. We can wait until the budget is better….

    • itstim

      Hear! Hear!

      • YTK

        All of this makes sense! Which is why those suggestions will not be implemented!!!

    • Josh S

      It’s not clear that this makes sense. Again, government budgets are not the same thing as family budgets. Curbing spending in the face of tough economic conditions could only make things worse.
      Also, it’s not clear that capital project spending is directly related to operating budget shortfalls. The streetcar would not be built using the operating budget, for example.

      • Mike Honcho

        Semantics. The government always says we can’t use O&M for Capitol improvements, or construction, but when you’re not looking they do it anyways. All they have to do is modify the budget, and shift money around. As long as it doesn’t violate State or Federal Law, that’s a cop out.

        Cue increased meter checks. Better make sure you don’t let your parking meter expire.

        • Josh S

          Semantics?

          All I’m trying to point out is that if the county declared tomorrow that they will never spend a dollar on a streetcar, it wouldn’t change the projected FY14 shortfall by a penny. So advocating the cutting of the streetcar to prevent or mitigate the shortfall doesn’t make sense.

          • KnowItAll

            There is money in the FY13 budget for engineering of the streetcar system scheduled to be spent in the fall of 2012. Like right now.

            So stopping the streetcar tomorrow, as you posited, would probably free up some, or all, of that money to offset the FY14 deficit.

          • Rocket Surgeon

            Assuming that streetcar engineering won’t be done by the county itself, I think the money is spent … or the County incurs contract termination.

        • Head Honcho?

          Great! Now we’re responsible for improving the Capitol?! You would think that would be a Federal responsibility…

          *sigh*
          (Capitol vs Capital…check it out)

    • Snout Secret…

      Aquatic Center and the ever popular ARTISPHERE…..

    • Tom Smart

      Would be nice if the people who are in charge of the budget knew how to forecast and budget. Who are these lame brains? If this was a corporation they’d be fired.

      • drax

        Right. Corporations never get any predictions wrong.

    • http://nelsm4517@mac.com Ballston Commons

      It was the orange line that made the Rosslyn to Ballston corridor so desirable. The history on that is incredible. It put Arlington on the map as one of the top places in the nation to live and work. It continues today.

      It will be the trolley that revitalizes the South Arlington Columbia Pike corridor just like the orange line did in Rosslyn to Ballston. Buses will be promised but never materialize. The trolley will work just like the metro did. It is there, it is permanent and can’t be fooled with. People will trust it and use it, not buses which can be added and deleted at a whim. People will move to south Arlington because of this and the community will grow.

      The Long Branch facility will do nothing but add to Arlington’s reputation for putting forth excellent services for all communities. That is what makes Arlington such a great place to live. Don’t short change Arlington’s progress. Both these initiative are needed. May seem like a big cost, but the rewards are far greater. Just look at what the orange did and give our political leaders some credit for their foresight and good common sense.

  • Wilbur

    And other things. Check out Bike Arlington and Walk Arlington and all the other silly things out of the transportation partnership office. These “projects” of Arlington county constantly give stuff away. They give away jerseys, and cow bells, and blink lights, and vuvuzella’s…. This morning they gave away snacks and coffee on the Custis Trail in Rosslyn. Okay, how does ARLCO spending money on coffee for bicyclists actually help promote smart transportation???

    What will encourage smart transportation is good and safe infrastructure. The number one thing cyclists want is a safe route.

    But constantly giving swag out is a waste of tax payers money.

    PS and yes, lose the trolley.

    • Chano

      I’m pretty sure a lot of that transportation stuff, with all the freebies, is funded by state and federal grants, not County taxes.

      • Josh S

        This level of detail is not suitable for ARLNow commenting. Minus one PROPER slice for you….

      • Fred

        So… ah… okay to waste taxpayer money, as long as it comes from a different bucket?

    • FutbolFan

      I, for one, am against vuvuzelas of any provenance.

    • Really?

      And exactly how much of that $50M budget shortfall do you think the coffee and snacks would cover, exactly?

  • GMo

    Vote “NO” on the Parks Bond!!!!

    • Westover

      And “NO” on the trolley referendum also.

      what?

      • ACDC Hack

        Funny thing about that…they won’t put items like that to a popular vote.

  • Eric

    But Morgan Freeman told me the economy is strong.

    • drax

      Arlington’s economy is strong.

      We’re facing an idiotic sudden, drastic cut in federal spending though.

      • Hollywood

        …except not.

        If you are referring to the “sequester,” that would only reduce defense spending to 2006 levels – not exactly lean times for the DoD.

        Stop your fear mongering.

        • drax

          Defense spending is hardly the only reduction in the sequester that will affect Arlington. It’s roughly a 10% cut across the board.

        • drax

          Except defense spending is hardly the only thing that will affect Arlington.

        • Josh S

          I strongly agree that most predictions of the future involve a lot of fear mongering that is not helpful.

          However, your description of the sequester is not entirely accurate.

          • drax

            A sudden 10% cut in federal spending is not going to help this fragile economy at all.

          • Hollywood

            Um your understanding of economics is lacking. We’ve done nothing but increase spending over the last decade. We are now broke. By your logic, we would be flourishing…

          • Josh S

            Who is “we?”

          • drax

            I understand economics just fine. Of course government spending is hardly the only factor in prosperity. But a sudden, drastic cut in government spending is going to cause serious problems, especially in an economy that is already weak.

          • Bon Air

            The economy would be worse without the debt spending.

            Most of the so called growth in the first decade of 2000 was driven by government and household deficit spending.

          • Hollywood

            Data please?

          • wut

            +1

      • Eric

        Arlington County Manager Barbara Donnellan said the economy is weak

        • drax

          So it’s Morgan vs. Barbara. Who wins that matchup?

          • Morgan

            It’s no contest, really.

          • Eric

            I don’t know, but the truth apparently is the loser.

          • Josh S

            What is THE TRUTH?

    • Joehoya

      I thought Morgan Freeman told us that a comet was going to hit the Earth.

      • YTK

        It did, in Rosslyn — that’s why that statue in Dark Star Park has that hole in it.

  • not a problem

    not sure what everyone is getting worked up about, this is no problem! simple algebra. we know what property values are and how much money we want to spend, now all we need to do is solve for the tax rate!

    • drax

      This is ArlNow though – the concept of tax revenue being a function of both value and rate is completely confusing for many.

      • Josh S

        I don’t know if it is actually confusing for many. But many certainly choose to cling to a particular interpretation of “high taxes” that serves their needs to make a particular argument. I suspect that 90% of those here actually get the rate versus absolute amount distinction. Railing against “high taxes” is just easier to do when you can wave your $8,000 tax bill or whatever (and completely ignore that you live in a $700,000 house, for example).

        • drax

          Perhaps, but they really stick to it, so it’s hard to tell whether they really are dumb or just pretending sometimes.

          (I do get that it’s hard to pay taxes now on property whose value you won’t realize until later though).

          • SomeGuy

            There’s also the concept that, even if tax rates aren’t super-high, it still makes sense not being over-indulgent with the excuse that “our rates are lower than the next county so we feel justified.” I.e., government should spend only what it needs to.

            Many of the most vocal county critics here think we spend a lot of money on things we don’t need to spend on. A lavish dog park comes to mind. (I don’t care about the minutiae between a bond referendum and operating budget; it’s just an example.)

            There’s no way to please everyone though, so the bickering shall continue.

          • drax

            True. I was just talking about the math-challenged whiners.

          • Josh S

            I think this points up an ongoing and somewhat unavoidable disconnect between politicians and citizens. SomeGuy doesn’t care about the “minutiae” between bond referenda and the operating budget. But you can bet the politicians and budget staff are keenly aware of the differences and that in their eyes, the differences are significant.
            Was it Winston Churchill who said democracy was the worst system of government imaginable, except for every other system of government?

          • SomeGuy

            Maybe I wasn’t clear, Josh S. I DO care about the minutiae in general, because it’s a relevant detail in budgeting. I DID NOT care in the context of the comment I just made, because the specific example I chose was just the first commonly cited wasteful project I could think of. I was trying to caveat that I didn’t want to debate the specifics of that one project and cloud the discussion about the broader sentiment.

        • Venn Diagram

          Whilst they bump up *both* our tax rate and assessment (a double whammy) yet again in order to buy things like Kev’s bum mansion.

          • DCBuff

            Exactly. I have absolutely no doub that both my assessment and tax rate will grow (and by more than 1%), despite the county manager’s declaration. This county is run by addicts, and they will get their fix no matter what.

          • BoredHouseWife

            and nary a bit of it will be used for the public good. maybe the richer area of Arlington will have nice roads but forget about Columbia pike.

          • Ok

            If the majority of taxes comes from n Arlington shouldn’t that area have better roads????

        • CP

          It’s just as confusing as FY’s.

        • Just Math

          Josh (aka Mitt Math fan): Under any formula, Arlington has raised property taxes in leaps and bounds to fund every crazy idea. Arlington relies on Mitt-Math-fools to think that the amazing tax increases are fate and not deliberate County Board action to raise enormous amounts of taxes. The tax rate and assessment are meaningless until combined to obtain the tax amount (e.g., your $8,000 example).

          2002: $256 million property taxes (2004 budget summary)
          2013: $576 million property taxes (2013 general fund summary)

          • Venn Diagram

            but but but – we had a 15% increase in the housing stock. Oh, wait – more Mitt Math

          • Just Math

            True, which should have caused each person’s tax bill to be lowered — more people paying to reach the budgeted amount.

          • Ok

            Or more people= more strain on govt resources?

          • drax

            By that logic, New York City should have grown to the point where its taxes are near zero!

          • Josh S

            It seems you, like the others I alluded to earlier, have an axe to grind. Calling the Board’s spending “crazy,” attempting to impugn me by calling me names, pretty much gives it away.

            In any case, it is quite possible for the Board to fall asleep for an entire year and for tax revenues still to go up. (Rising assessments, increased number of properties subject to tax, etc.) So you have a pretty heavy burden to prove that it was *deliberate action* on the part of the Board that caused tax revenues to increase in the period you cite.

            For starters, it would be instructive to see the chart of the property tax rate year by year from 2002 to 2013.

  • justin

    Bulldoze the Ballston mall, bulldoze the street cars and stop funding metro. Done.

    • YTK

      “And my advice for those who die
      Declare the pennies on your eye (s)
      Cuz I’m the taxman!!”

    • Right

      ‘Cause who uses that Metro thing, anyways?

      • BoredHouseWife

        metro could use what it charges and maintain itself.

        • Josh S

          It could?

          Are you sure?

          (Hint: If it could, I think that would probably make it unique in the nation.)

  • UYD Fan

    Y’all need to hide your kids, hide your wife, and hide your husband cause they’re gonna be taxin’ everybody out here.

  • J

    Let’s start looking at cutting bigger things out of the budget for example how many county cars do we pay for? Drive down Columbia pike in the morning and you will see all of the government cars and vehicles sitting at McDonalds and Subway. Do all of these people really need a county car to do their jobs?

    • johnny valentine

      They need all those cars because the county employees wreck them good and often.

    • BoredHouseWife

      im surprised you didnt blow a strut

  • Josh S

    I guess this is important information to have, but it is just a projection about FY14, which doesn’t start anytime soon. Lots can happen between now and then.

    • CP

      The FY14 budget will have to be finished and approved sometime this coming spring.

  • Suburban Not Urban

    So – this means that their budget projections – last year were wildly optomistic/inaccurate. If they are saying they are getting a 1% INCREASE in tax base/tax rev but that the budget will be short 50mil, then they were planning for a more than 1% increase in expenditures. What happend to things like zero based budgetting?

  • Oy

    The ‘swag’ they are giving away, how much does it cost the County? Is it donated? Is showing appreciation for citizens who have adopted a car-free lifestyle bankrupting your city? What is that coffee costing, a fraction of a thousandth of a percent of the budget? What stuff are you ok with spending money on. Christmas lights? Is there any portion of a community allotted budget that is acceptable unless is it personally benefiting you? Because the stuff you’re complaining about doesn’t make you sound savvy, it makes you sound like a bit unhinged.

    • Mike Honcho

      Those same bicyclists/walkers would be there regardless of whether they got a cup of coffee and an ARLCO hackey sack.

      • Bozo the Clown

        wait… when were the hackey sacks given out? Anyone want to trade a cowbell for a hackey sack?

        • Josh S

          I hear used ones go for pretty cheap on Craigslist….

    • Wow&Flutter

      Besides the fact that swag almost always ends up in a landfill and is hardly ever any practical use to anybody, you also forgot about the County employee time spent on planning, organizing, and executing these things–this is probably the most expensive part.

      • cyclist

        I use pretty much all of the swag I’ve gotten.

      • wut

        not to mention that it’s all made in China. Think of the fossil fuel used to transport it here. I thought Arlington cared about the environment??

    • BoredHouseWife

      what about the ipads and the trips to silicon valley?

  • JimPB

    Definitely time for a brake on capital expenditures, especially when there will be future ongoing operating costs, e.g., for operating the proposed aquatic center.

    The need is present (the children are here) for more classrooms and associated school space. THE question is whether this is a surge or a “new normal”, i.e., will the classrooms needed now be needed in say 5 or 10 years? Use portable classrooms for a surge. Build only for a “new normal.”

    And ARLCo and ACPS operating costs could be reduced from some priority setting and trimming of what’s not a priority and of what’s nice but not needed.

    • Just Math

      Arlington could cut out maintenance and just fund capital improvements. Oh, no, wait, that is what happens currently.

  • Just Math

    $50 million? Isn’t that what the County Board is giving away each year for “affordable housing”?

  • JimPB

    What to do with this year’s surplus funds? It’s now settled: Apply to next year’s shortfall.

  • MikeinARL

    Perhaps it’s time to revisit Artosphere and subsidized housing.

    • KnowItAll

      I haven’t been there even once, can’t revisit it yet.

    • Garden City

      Maybe we could convert Artisphere into subsidized housing?

  • Greg

    This is an outrage. We face a $50 million budget shortfall but move right ahead with the Long Bridge aquatics center and the Streetcar. I’m embarassed to have voted these County Board dip—-s into office.

    • novasteve

      Vote against the Bond issue on the ballot and vote against LIbby Garvey.

    • Josh S

      One wishes that Greg could be run something sometime and then we could count the number of people who call him a dips–t on internet comment boards.

      • Tannehill

        You mad!

        • Josh S

          Bro?

      • Greg

        English, please?

        • Josh S

          Ignore the “be” and I think it works.

  • George

    The obvious solution is not to curb spending. A toll booth needs to be put on I66, entering and exiting the county, a toll put in place on Arlington Blvd per 1/8th mile, a toll on Colombia Pike, a Toll on Wilson Blvd and many, many others. All residential parking should be metered and put speed camera’s everywhere, speed limits altered every 1/4 to 1 mile to enhance safety.

    These minor enhancements will make Arlington able to fund a trolly, free housing for the underprividged migrant workers who do not speak english, the Arlington County version of the ObamaPhone, and many, many other great projects.

    • sam the cat

      Agreed!

    • SomeGuy

      The ZimmiePhone?

    • Susa

      George, your suggestions are completely valid; unlike DC and San Francisco, Arlington should figure out a way to produce, distribute, and tax marijuana. I figure 20 dollars for a five blunt pack, of that 19.90 is tax – win.

  • Autoexec.bat

    Does this mean no second act of “Housing for Hipsters”?

  • novasteve

    Couldn’t ACPS recover some of the budget shortfalls by allowing bake sales or other things of things ordinarily viewed as “unhealthy” that we all somehow survived growing up with but apparently today’s kids cannot?

    • DCBuff

      Steve, you’ve got a lot to learn about the schools. Fundraising, done by the PTAs at each school, is widespread and funds tens of thousands of dollars in improvements (e.g., smartboards) in the classrooms. This is not a matter of holding a bake sale.

      • Quoth the Raven

        Bad comment. You’re trying to use facts and logic to dispute a wholly illogical and paranoid worldview. Shame on you.

        • DCBuff

          QTR, you’re right. I’m trying to provide information to a wider audience that includes those that are not as familiar with APS as those of us with children. I’m so ashamed.

    • we all survived as kids?

      WTF? Childhood overeating can lead to LATER obesity and cardio vascular disease. which lots of folks dont survive.

      Though presumably everyone posting now is still alive.

    • drax

      1. Show us where bake sales are banned.

      2. Not everyone survived bake sales, steve. You just don’t know anyone who died because they’re dead.

  • Oy

    Don’t you ever get tired of blaming people who earn a fraction of what you earn for not earning more? Don’t worry, You’re still rich and entitled. Did you know that there are people who don’t own computers? Who live extremely far from their jobs NOT because they want to own an acre? Are any of your friends not college educated? Do you know anyone with a service job? Or that lives paycheck to paycheck? Whatever it is in your brain that can’t stop inventing these lazy backstories, and whatever Big Money sold you that story, it’s poison. I genuinely think some of you would vote to desegregate if you could. Or think their community would be more vibrant if only people of the same social status were permitted to live there. It’s quite sickening, and it’s time you checked yourself and thought about what the world would be like if we went back to this or that ‘side of the tracks’ and the projects and the like. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affordable_housing

    • novasteve

      If they can’t affortd rent here, is it possible they can’t afford other things here? Why is nobody helping me live in Manhattan or some other area I can’t afford to live in? What’s so special about these people?

      • EverbeentoManhattan

        there are housing projects, section 8 and I think other programs

        maybe you should appy

    • Equalizer

      Do you ever get tired of blaming “the wealthy” who’ve made sacrifices and worked hard for what they have? Don’t worry, you’r parents will still take care of you and you’re still “enlightened.”

      Do you know there are people who spend money on things loke beer and cigarettes and lotto instead of buying a computer? Do you realize some people make.very bad life decisions over and over, despite getting multiple chances? I bet you genuinely think Communism works and think it’s “hip” and “cool” to live in bad neighborhoods. Blah blah blah.

      Your comment isn’t very tolerant of you. I bet “tolerance” to you really means “thinks like me.”

      • Josh S

        Your attitude likely helps you to sleep at night.

        Yes, of course people make bad decisions.

        Nonetheless, there are clear and undeniable and quite significant advantages that families with wealth enjoy that those without do not and that help to keep it that way. Access to politicians and the ability to fund them being only the most obvious.

        Also, what gives you the impression that most wealthy people make more sacrifices or work harder than non-wealthy people? I’d think that, with few exceptions, it’s exactly the opposite.

    • drax

      Everyone is permitted to live here. There are no laws forbidding anyone from living in Arlington County.

      Oh, and “the projects” ARE public housing! Duh.

  • novasteve

    Will ARlington beg the state to allow speed cameras? That’s trypicaly how liberal jurisdictions with out of control spending cope with new revenues.

    • HappyCyclist

      yay!

  • YTK

    Oh NO!!

    Now What’s gonna happen to the TROOOLLLLEY???!!!

    Will the County have to ration Froyo?

    Why don’t they tax all SUV’s that end up on their roofs?

    • DCBuff

      SUV on roof tax. Excellent. And, most of the money would come from MD anyway. Just don’t tax my bocce.

      • ArlMom

        The bocce court comes out of the PEG (Parks Enhancement Grant) which is a way for Arl. Co. to spend money “outside the budget”. You’ve already paid your tax for bocce.

        • DCBuff

          I’m voting for whomever comes out against the “bocce tax.”

          • YTK

            Tante Bocce Bacci, Raggazini !!!

  • ArlMom

    This year, there are 12 applications for the Arlington County PEG (Parks Enhancement Grants) at $15,000 each. That is a potential $180,000 spent “outside the budget”, which I agree, is semantics.

    • Josh S

      How is it “outside the budget?”

      • ArlMom

        You can download the pdf for the Guidelines on this page:
        http://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/ParksRecreation/scripts/parks/ParksRecreationScriptsParksPEGProgram.aspx

        The relevant points from the Guidelines are these:

        Program Purpose:
        • To enable Arlington citizens to initiate small capital improvement and beautification projects for Arlington’s parks and recreation facilities in their neighborhoods;
        • To encourage community support for public parks; and
        • To enable these improvements to be completed without going through the normal County budget process.

        • Josh S

          This doesn’t mean that the money doesn’t come from the budget.

          • ArlMom

            I totally agree. That’s what I meant by it’s semantics.

          • Josh S

            *tilts and scratches head*

          • ArlMom

            What I was trying to say, unsuccessfully, was that the county says it has a shortfall in the budget coming but uses these “creative” ways of spending money in what they call “outside the budget”. The PEG is a waste of money and could be folded back into the budget and put to better use.

          • Josh S

            *blank stare*

  • CW

    Crazy how we go from about 4 straight years of “build it as fast as you can”, rents through the roof, new office project every month, overnight to being told “the local economy is weak.” Construction projects are lagging indicators I suppose – all the stuff that went on paper in ’09 and ’10 is just now really coming online.

    If there’s a silver lining (and if this isn’t just fearmongering about the sequester) then maybe it would be that commercial rents stop going through the roof so some locally-owned business can survive, and housing and rental values stabilize so people can actually live here without spending 50% of gross income.

    • er no

      Theres no particular weakness in residential, which is still catching up to demand (esp for close in places with metro access)

      Arlco is being hit on commercial RE, which is weaker, and the fed budget shenanigans are making it harder to fill the office space emptied by BRAC.

      • CP

        What’s interesting is the timing of these projections. If indeed the shortfall is due to a drop in commercial property values, that info would have to be based on assessment projections, since the actual projections do not come out until around next January. Property assessments have not changed, officially, since the last budget was passed.

        Or maybe they are seeing the loss in rent tax revenue for commercial space right now due to the spike in vacancies in Crystal City. I’ll have to read the manager’s report transcript or whatever.

      • CW

        Right, and i was speaking to commercial, for example all the commercial in Rosslyn underway, the 11th street project, and the big glass thing in crystal city. Yes, i mentioned residential prices as an effect. You do understand that people pay for residential using money they earn from jobs, and that said jobs occupy commercial RE, dont you?

        • darsasx

          But at 1:54 pm, voluminous poster said “Arlington’s economy is strong.”
          Then at 3:59 pm, the same voluminous poster said “A sudden 10% cut in federal spending is not going to help this fragile economy at all.”

          Which is it – strong or fragile, and why should I believe you instead of him (trick question, since you are right on the money and VP fails at logic more often than not)

          • drax

            Arlington’s economy is strong, reltative to the nation’s Look up the numbers.

            The rest of the nation’s is not so strong. It is fragile. That’s what I was referring to in the second comment.

            Arlington’s strong economy can’t stay strong if the rest of the nation drags it down.

            Thanks for asking.

        • er no

          yes they do pay for residential from jobs BUT

          Lots of people who work in arlington commute – especially from fairfax and beyond. OTOH a lot of people who live in alrington work in DC. So its not obvious how big an impact on arl residences there will be from a decline in jobs in arlington.

          as for the new office projects, the developers seem to think class A space will do better than old space – whether they will be right I have no idea. Its their job to evaluate such risks.

          • CW

            Fair point on the commuting for sure, but there are also two factors at play that weve not decoupled. One is BRAC and the other factors that have put a glut of old CRE on the market. The other is the fiscal cliff which likely was considered in these projections. The former is indeed a local issue, i agree, but the latter will hit everyone. And, with respect to commuting, lets see if thats still the case once all the multifamily residential in the pipeline across the river really starts delivering.

  • novasteve

    Looks like my car will be going up in value next year and so will the sticker.

    • Josh S

      Please post copies of this year’s bill. When next year’s bill comes, you can post that one, too. Then we’ll all see whether it has gone up or not.

      • drax

        When steve has a wild fantasy about something, that means it has already happened, even if it’s in the future.

      • Minor Point

        Please post copies of your W2 so that we can verify that you are not in the employ of the county or the ACDC…

        I’m waiting………..

    • Just Math

      NovaLiar: What are you talking about? Don’t you remember, that the Republican party promised the elimination of the car tax in order to capture the governor’s office?

      (And, you said you were leaving; we are waiting for you to live up to your promise.)

  • North2South

    Wasn’t there just an article a few days ago about tax rebates to Arlington property owners because there are millions of dollars of unspent tax revenue typically left over at the end of the county’s fiscal year?

    • drax

      Yes, and some people supported the idea of giving the surplus back to taxpayers.

      And now that we have a deficit, does that mean the taxpayers should cough up the money to cover it?

      • CP

        No. All it means is that they have been taking more money from us than they have needed for years.

        • Josh S

          Another fundamental problem for 21st century American democracy -
          CP, and many millions of others, think of their government as “they” and not as “we.”

          • No

            That is because that is the way that it is…….especially here in Arlington.

          • drax

            So why do a majority of voters keep electing our government?

        • drax

          How do you know how much is too much?

          • darsasx

            when the percent of your posts compared to the total in any given thread is over 5%

  • Right of Center

    Well it’s a good thing the county was able to repave the 4 Mile Run jogging path and replace the highly used exercise equipment, too. That was $ well spent.

    • drax

      Yes.

      I guess we will have to not to any of that kind of thing in 2014, huh?

    • 26.2

      I’ve already gotten my money’s worth on the repave. Haven’t you?

  • Seeing it like it is

    I say find some projects not already started and shelve them….or furlow county employees 2 days a month til the debt is gone. The county got this way by overspending What was coming, So lets under spend To get back out of it.

    • CP

      I think as a show of camaraderie with the struggling masses, the Board should take a 5% pay reduction.

  • Wild Bill

    And they are going to spend $ 25,000,000. plus another $10,000,000.
    to renovate an office building in the middle of Courthouse for the homeless.
    I’m all for taking care of the homeless but there are better options in the County.
    The Streetcar idea is ludicrous !

  • bobbytiger

    What? A shortfall in the County budget? I mean, who could have seen that one coming?
    And, as long as we are piling on, don’t forget all those bond issues on next months voting agenda. I dare you to vote NO. Double-dare you?

    • No

      Just say NO !!

  • No

    NO.

  • richarlington

    Ask Zimmerman where he lives!! Try two blocks from Columbia Pike. Now I wonder who this street car is benefiting! WHAT A JOKE!

    • drax

      So the people around Columbia Pike will benefit from the streetcar? Interesting.

  • Deadite

    Perfect time to blow millions on a homeless shelter!

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