Press Club

Arlington’s Welfare Spending Outpaces Neighbors

Arlington spends more per capita on welfare and social services than neighbors Alexandria and Fairfax County. In fact, Arlington spends $455 for every resident in the county, nearly twice the spending of Fairfax.

“Considering the emphasis that the County Board has placed on social services, it’s not all that surprising that this category would be one of the highest per-capita spending items in Arlington,” Budget Director Richard Stevenson told the Arlington Connection’s Michael Lee Pope.

The county spends more on welfare and social services than on law enforcement. The welfare expenditures are greater than Arlington’s spending on parks, libraries, courts, sanitation and building maintenance combined. The only individual category that tops welfare is education, at $1,814 per capita. Taken as a whole, law enforcement and fire and rescue account for $588 spending per capita.

“I think we’re right where we need to be” in terms of budget priorities, County Board chairman Jay Fisette told the Connection.

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