The county’s proposed budget for 2011 would raise taxes on the average Arlington family by $235 and — among other cuts — halve the county’s community policing force.
Acting County Manager Barbara Donnellan revealed her FY 2011 budget proposal at a county board meeting Wednesday. Facing a $65 million budget deficit, Donnellan said tough decisions needed to be made.
“My proposed budget includes some hard choices that will impact services in most areas across the community,” Donnellan said. “What I have tried to do is to cut only those things that will not change the values of our community or our basic expectations of responsible government.”
Donnellan, following guidance from the county board, gave priority to funding affordable housing, schools, and the social safety net at levels equal to or greater than the current budget. Also following the board’s guidance, Donnellan plugged half of the county’s $65 million budget deficit with spending cuts, and the other half with increases in revenue.
The budget would increase county revenues by raising the real estate tax 6.7 cents for every $100 of value. That, combined with other, more incremental increases in taxes and fees, would raise the average family’s county tax burden by nearly 4 percent, or $235. Business tax rates will remain unchanged.
The proposed budget slashes funding for the community policing. The equivalent of 11 full-time positions, or half the police department’s community policing force, will be cut. A fire department heavy rescue unit, approximately 12 full-time positions, will be eliminated. And three Office of Emergency Management positions — the deputy director and the liaisons for the police and fire departments — will be done away with.
Other proposed cuts include:
- Dramatically reduced hours at libraries (9 fewer hours per week at Arlington Central Library, and one fewer day per week at most branches).
- Reduced hours of operations at various parks and recreation facilities.
- Reduced frequency of grass mowing at parks and other facilities.
- Approximately $1.5 million in cuts to the Department of Environmental Services, the county agency that handles snow removal and other county maintenance projects. DES has gone through $3.8 million in cuts since 2009.
A total of nearly 90 staff positions would be eliminated under Donnellan’s budget, according to a county press release. All but 20 of those positions are vacant.
All told, spending would decrease 0.5%, or $5 million, compared to the current budget.
Donnellan is expected to formally present the budget during a board meeting this Saturday at 8:30 AM. The public will get a chance to comment on the proposal during a series of public hearings scheduled for the end of March.
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Arlington and its neighbors have become more segregated in the last 10 years while fair housing legislation at the state level faces significant roadblocks. Arlington’s fair housing enforcement, education, and commitment to equity practices in housing policy and programs are beginning to show signs of improvement but much more needs to be done.
Join the NAACP Arlington Branch, HOME of Virginia, and Equal Rights Center for the 2nd Annual Arlington Fair Housing Conference on April 15th to discuss the threats and opportunities to advancing fair housing policy across the state and within Arlington.
The half-day, in-person event will feature speakers from fair housing advocacy organizations and government agencies including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and focus on fair housing policy trends in Virginia and Arlington County. The conference aims to advance the understanding of issues and policies related to equity and affirmatively further fair housing among local officials, advocates, and members of the public.
2nd Annual Arlington Fair Housing Conference
Is home ownership a goal of yours in 2023? Now is the time to make it happen! Grab a (virtual) drink with the area’s top Real Estate experts, learn all about the home buying process and on how you can get $1,500 towards your closing costs immediately!
Did you know the average Arlington renter will spend $150K in 5 years of renting? Stop paying down someone else’s mortgage! Join us for a Rent vs. Buy Happy Hour on Wednesday, April 5th at 6 p.m. via Zoom. If this time doesn’t work, we also are offering times convenient for your schedule!
A lot has happened in the local market since the beginning of the pandemic. Sip on your drink of choice and learn from Northern Virginia, Arlington and Washingtonian Magazines top producing agents! We will discuss the latest market updates, the home buying process and rent vs. buy cost savings. Please RSVP by clicking here.
Call/text Manavi at 703-869-6698 with any questions!
Private School Fair
Congressional School to Host MONA Private School Fair Thursday, April 27 at 6:30 PM
Congressional School in Falls Church, VA is delighted to host the MONA (Mothers of North Arlington) at an upcoming Private School Fair. Private schools from around
WHS Spring Festival
Join us at the WHS Spring Festival on April 22, 2023, from 10am- 3pm at Wakefield High School(main parking lot). Come out to shop, play, and eat!
Shop local vendors, arts & crafts, new and used items, food vendors/trucks, and