O’Leary, who first took office in 1984, touts his efforts to bring down the tax delinquency rate in Arlington County. The rate was nine percent shortly before he took office, and is just over one half of one percent now.
Republicans are currently looking for qualified candidates to run against O’Leary and other Democrats who are up for re-election this year.
After the jump is O’Leary’s letter to supporters announcing his re-election bid.
Since first taking office, I have been proud and privileged to serve as your treasurer. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the community I love. Accordingly, after personal reflection, discussions with my staff, friends, and family, and of course with the encouragement of Linda, my wonderful wife of over forty years, I have decided to seek re-election to serve another term as Arlington’s Treasurer.
During my tenure, my objective has always been to establish and maintain a high performance treasurer’s office under the motto, “The people who work in this office do their best to serve the public in a courteous and efficient manner.” I strongly believe in those sentiments and my convictions are shared by the more than sixty employees of the Arlington County Treasurer’s office, a number of whom appear in the photo above.
Allow me to cite some of our accomplishments. Before my first election, Arlington’s tax delinquency rate was more than nine percent. Since then we have steadily worked to lower it and are proud to announce that the delinquency rate is now projected as just over one half of one percent for Fiscal Year 2011. This represents a savings of approximately $128,000,000 for taxpayers such as you. Our performance in this area led the accounting firm of Deloitte Touche to state, “Arlington County is the most effective collector of local revenue in the United States.”
While we cannot make the payment of taxes painless, we can do our best to make it as convenient as possible. In 1984, we were among the first treasurer offices to allow payment by credit card and payment at any local bank branch. In 1987, we introduced the Automated Payment Service (APS) which automatically debits taxpayers’ bank accounts on the payment deadline or in monthly installments. Nearly 4,000 households participate in the APS. In 1997, we started 1-888-2PayTax, allowing taxpayers to pay bills by telephone (24/7). This system was subsequently adopted by the IRS. In 1998, we became the first tax office in the United States to accept payment over the Internet. This past year, our award-winning Internet payment portal processed 176,000 payments totaling nearly $200,000,000. In 2004, we expanded our payment locations to include Safeway grocery stores and more than fifty other retail outlets as part of our Neighborhood Payment Program, geared to serving our community and especially those without bank accounts.
We also recognize that conscientious, honest people sometimes have difficulty paying their taxes. Accordingly, in 1994, we started the Taxpayer Assistance Program. Working
with our local community bank – John Marshall – taxpayers can arrange to have their taxes paid to the County immediately, without even a credit check, and repay the bank in monthly installments. This past year alone, nearly two hundred homeowners borrowed and repaid $340,000. What a great alternative to the embarrassment of tax delinquency!
Annually, the Treasurer’s office processes more than $1,000,000,000 in revenue and more than 700,000 transactions. This very large and complex undertaking requires high level technical and financial skills. Once revenue is received, we must invest it prudently and ensure its timely availability to meet County expenses. Each year, our investments peak at more than $400,000,000 contained in a wide and diverse, but highly conservative, portfolio. Happily, the rate of return on your money has routinely been higher than any of our neighboring jurisdictions and we can all be proud of Arlington’s AAA/AAA/Aaa bond rating.
Our many accomplishments are reflected in the nineteen national and state awards that we have received. In 1999, the Association of Public Treasurers cited me as the most effective governmental treasurer in North America. It is, however, the work of the dedicated and committed employees of my office that made this possible, and I cannot adequately express in words how proud I am of my staff and their commitment to all the taxpayers of Arlington County.
If re-elected, I plan to maintain the level of excellence that we have achieved as an office. As Arlington continues to evolve into a world-class community, so too shall the Treasurer’s office. I also hope to secure the passage of federal legislation I authored, introduced by Congressman Jim Moran, whereby local government will be able to intercept the federal refunds of those who failed to pay their local taxes.
In closing, I want to thank you, as a voter and taxpayer, for your past support. Without you, none of the great work of the Treasurer’s office would have been possible. I am truly humbled that you have allowed me to serve these many years and I hope to count on your continued support. Please have a very happy and
safe New Year.
Everyone has flat screen TVs already so how about a more interesting Black Friday special? The ARLnow Press Club for free, to try out the daily Early Morning Notes email…
There’s not a whole lot going on in Arlington today, save for activity at local shopping centers, so we’re going to fast forward right to the top story countdown. Here…
Statues of Liberty gives thanks this holiday season and grateful for a few things this year.
It’s turkey time. Thanksgiving Eve is upon us and extra revelry can be expected at some local bars tonight, ahead of the holiday. Please be careful on the roads and…
The Optimist Club of Arlington is holding its 76th annual Christmas tree sale!
This year, the tree sale will be held at the Knights of Columbus (5115 Little Falls Road). The lot opens for sales on November 25th. The Optimist Club is selling small and large trees ranging from tabletop size to huge 14 foot tall trees! Wreaths, garlands, tree stands, and White House Christmas ornaments will also be for sale.
100% of all proceeds go towards helping Arlington County youth.
For more information, please visit the Arlington Optimists website at https://optimistclubofarlingtonva.org/.
Art House 7 is a small art studio in Arlington – offering instruction in painting, ceramics, sewing and more. We are looking for kind, dedicated people who love both creating and teaching.
Ceramic Teachers are needed to teach wheel-throwing to adults and 6-12th graders and to teach hand building to elementary grades. Classes have 3-8 students.
Drawing teachers are needed to teach either kids or adults. For kids, we offer cartooning, manga or traditional drawing. For adults, we only offer traditional drawing.
Painting teachers are needed to teach either kids or adults. We offer oil, acrylic or watercolor for adults or teens. All elementary classes use acrylic and tempera.
NCE’s Holiday Concert will bring the finest classical masterpieces and holiday favorites together for the whole family. The festivities begin with Leroy Anderson’s classic “Sleigh Ride” and “Chanukkah Festival”, music from the Nutcracker and by J.S. Bach.
Outstanding Young Artist