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No Real Estate Tax Hike in County Manager’s Proposed Budget

by ARLnow.com February 8, 2011 at 3:42 pm 3,006 103 Comments

(Updated at 4:25 p.m.) Arlington County Manager Barbara Donnellan’s proposed FY 2012 budget, revealed today during a county board work session, includes no real estate tax rate increase but, at the same time, no restoration of cuts from previous budgets.

Under the proposed budget, the real estate tax would remain steady at 95.8 cents per $100. The 95.8 cent rate was approved by the board last year after Donnellan, then the acting county manager, proposed a rate of 94.2 cents.

Arlington is benefiting from a 6.3 percent hike in assessed property values, which is expected to bring in an additional $30 million in tax revenue for the county. In September, when the county was expecting a smaller increase in assessments, then-County Manager Michael Brown warned that tax hikes and spending cuts might be necessary. Neither prediction is coming to fruition under the Donnellan’s proposed budget.

The budget does include a 25 cent per hour hike in parking rates. There will be no increase, however, in the personal property tax, the business tangible property tax, business and professional license fees or the commercial transportation tax.

Total county expenditures under the proposed budget will reach $985.2 million, a 3.1 percent increase over last year. The primary source of the increase is the budget transfer to the school system, which will rise 4.9 percent to $378.2 million.

If the proposed budget is adopted by the board as-is, the total tax and fee burden on Arlington households would increase $89, or 1.4 percent, to $6,487 per year.

Donnellan formulated her budget after holding a series of public budget meetings last year.

The proposed budget will be made available on the county’s web site on Saturday. The board will adopt the final FY 2012 budget in April.

  • South Arlington

    What will the curmudgeons complain about now?!?!?!?!?!

    • LyonSteve

      Where did that 50% increase in parking rates come from?

      • KalashniKEV

        The parking rate increase is clever because it’s not actually going to bring in $$$$$ quarter by quarter and nickel by nickel.

        A normal person only has so much change in their console/dash + pocket. Parking tickets every day… for everyone will bring in some serious ca$h.

        (and I won’t care b/c I don’t park on the street in Arlington 🙂 )

    • An Area Employer

      Probably the part where the County takes another $30 million from landowners to allocate toward their command/control projects.

      “Arlington is benefiting from a 6.3 percent hike in assessed property values, which is expected to bring in an additional $30 million in tax revenue for the county.”

      • Lester

        Babs looks positively dreamy in that pic.

        • KalashniKEV

          Which one???!?

          I’ll take both! 🙂

    • Arlwhenever

      How about the lies? Like how wonderful it is that my taxes (many thousands of others) are going up double digits over two years when inflation is close to zero, in a county that is supposedly well managed and purportedly is exercising fiscal restraint. And putting forth budget numbers that have almost nothing to do with actual expenditures. Oh sorry to disturb the sheeple.

      • mehoo

        Inflation in property values is much more than zero, obviously.

        Nice try at twisting the truth yourself.

  • SnowDay

    Not a whole lot. I’m probably nowhere near the liberal that the average Arlingtonian is, but I am impressed each year on what this county manages to do in the way of planning and services while maintaining a low tax rate. I know it’s because we’re all on top of each other (building a huge tax base), but we manage to control our local traffic, have good schools, reasonable crime, desirable restaurants, etc.

    I’m from New Jersey. The better half of the state, even (South). Want to see some killer property taxes? For all of the little things that we can complain about, Arlington is very, very well run compared to other towns of similar size situated in major metro areas.

    • Shane

      Not exactly, SnowDay. If Arlington were so well-run, then you wouldn’t have between 35% and 42% voting against the DemocRAT County Board candidate in each election. If Arlington were so great, you wouldn’t have the intense anti-tax comments you see on the ArlNow comments. If Arlington were so wonderful, you wouldn’t have a “change of government” petition drive that fell two signature-gatherers short of victory.

      • South Arlington

        Your arguments are horrible. I don’t see how one side winning 35% of the vote is an indictment of anything. I don’t see how the online ranting of curmudgeons who have enjoyed huge rises in wealth due to property values rising thanks to County policies is an indictment of the County’s operations. And I don’t see how the change of government petition has much to do with anything, especially since that petition was to do nothing but put it on the ballot where it in all likelihood would have been steamrolled, even with all the public safety union dollars pushing it.

        I vote Republican, and I still like living in Arlington.

        • steve

          You have no problem with Arlington County seeking out having 30% of the population be section 8 so they can maintain a 100% county board in perpetuity?

          Do you think that’s an okay use of taxpayer money to subsidize other people’s housing so in return democrats can remain in power forever?

          • South Arlington

            I’m more for the trolley and the redevelopment of Columbia Pike than anyone, so don’t accuse me of defending forced “affordable housing”. I’m all for the tearing down of all the crappy, old apartments on the Pike, which by the way, are not Section 8 or county sponsored affordable housing – they are just so old, so bug infested, and so crappy that they are cheap. To tell you the truth, I’m doubting a lot of the people in so called affordable housing could vote, so I’m not sure how it’s linked. Also your 30% number is dubious, but more likely it’s blatantly fabricated.

          • NArl

            I would have to agree on the fact I don’t want county money going to pay the rent of people who may not be able to afford this area. However I will disagree with you that they are doing it to keep themselves in power. I feel that what they are attempting to do is very nobel however this area is just to expensive for the projects to work correctly.

        • Patrick

          “I vote Republican”

          Haha. Nice qualifier to make it seem like you aren’t some liberal, and that republicans in arlington actually support the county board’s taxing and spending policies. As a person who actually votes republican my question is if the real estate assessments are up why not lower the real estate tax rate so that homeowners dont owe more in real estate taxes?

          • South Arlington

            Probably because I don’t think I’m paying an undue burden for the services I receive. Speaking realistically, I don’t even find the County Board to be that liberal. I don’t think you can complain about the board being anti-business, then call them puppets of the Chamber of Commerce, then complain about them supporting real estate development. Don’t get me wrong, I have gripes. But I also have a good school system to send our kids, I’ve accrued wealth from my property appreciating due to the board making this an attractive place to live, and I generally enjoy life in Arlington.

            On a national basis, I have issue with the politics. But I think most complainers have difficulty separating national politics from the details of local politics.

          • Patrick

            Well I for one certainly wouldn’t call the board “puppets of the chamber of commerce” (see the HOT lanes dispute). I guess I just take a fundamentally different view of the reason for arlington’s prosperity. I believe it is a function of the proximity to the federal government (i.e. the pentagon) which leads to an abundance of higher paying jobs in both the private and public sectors. This results in more people moving to the area in search of said jobs (why im here) which naturally causes housing prices to go up in response to the higher demand. Furthermore arlington’s location near the center of the region contributes to it being a desirable place to live (why i chose to live here vs alexandria or fairfax) for it’s close proximity to so many area attractions. That being said overall I think the county board does an ok job. My main complaint is the lack of diverging opinions from having single party rule.

          • rcw

            +1000

          • rcw

            @South Arlington

          • mehoo

            “As a person who actually votes republican”

            Haha. Nice qualifier.

      • SnowDay

        I’m not seeing it. Politics are often split, it’s what you get in a simple, two party, one person one vote system.

        My taxes are reasonable for what I get, and if you think Arlington isn’t head and shoulders above most towns of its size, you need to get out more. Sure, we take full advantage of being situated on DC’s doorstep, but look at Montgomery and PG Co. Same situation, arguably worse results (definitely for PG, depends on your values for MoCo). And those two take more of your paycheck, too – 3.2% in local to both, plus 4.75% for the under $150k bracket. Property taxes under 1% (which is less than even the surrounding VA counties/localities) Arlington is an easy shot into DC, either through 66 HOV, Chain Bridge, etc. MoCo provides you with gridlock on 355 or 270.

        Really, Arlington is well planned, and fairly well executed. There’s some shit to deal with, just like anywhere else. But this is a solid place to live. For the tax burden, I couldn’t be happier.

      • Just the Facts

        On a site with no shortage of boneheaded comments, this is among the boneheaded-est. As a sign of citizen dissatisfaction, Shane mentions 35-42% of the voting population choosing the losing candidate; a change of government petition drive that fell miserably short of succeeding, felon signature collectors or not; and website comments.

        That’s the best you got? What would you like, Board candidates winning with 95+% of the vote? Those are Saddam Hussein election numbers. I’ll clue you in on something: a candidate in a 2-person election getting 60% of the vote is a LANDSLIDE in modern day, free elections. That winning Board candidates routinely pull at least 60% of the voting public’s support is a sign of widespread community support.

        As for the change of government petition, there’s not much more to say other than it failed. Miserably. Failed to get 10% of the registered voters’ support. Ten percent. Couldn’t do it.

        Finally, comments on a website are an indication of one thing: how people who comment on a website feel. That’s it. There are maybe a few hundred people (at most) who comment here, all self-selected. That is hardly a representative sample of Arlingtonians.

        • rcw

          + 1,000,000,000

      • mehoo

        So the failure of Republicans to win seats on the Board, the failure of a change-of-government measure, and the fact that tax rates are the lowest in the area and aren’t going up is evidence that Arlington is NOT well-run?

        Great logic there Shane.

    • jan

      yes, the property taxes in NY and NJ are shocking

  • 4Arl

    Residental assessments were up 1.4% but commercial was up 12%. So much for business friendly.

    • local

      Yes, that is business friendly. It means business property values are increasing.

      • 4Arl

        Except that typically businesses don’t own the real estate they operate in. For a net lease, RE taxes are passed through to the tenant.

        • Thes

          It means that the all-powerful and all-knowing *market* has decided Arlington is a 12% better place to have an office in than it was last year. So therefore, the market itself has decided that Arlington is business-friendly.

        • local

          The point is that property owners are business people too.

  • KalashniKEV

    That’s the whole idea behind “affordable housing initiatives” and the Clarendon Views Housing Project.

    Got some wealth you want to protect? We’ll bury you in bums and take a vote on whether or not you get to keep it. Next we’ll ask them about expanding the scope of our power…

    • DouroDouro

      Yes, the liberal “man” is keeping us down! What a conspiracy, I say!

  • G

    I’m as liberal as they come, but am not supportive of affordable housing. Do any of the board members live near affordable housing? I don’t think they do.

    • South Arlington

      Pretty sure the Zimster in Douglas Park is a few blocks from the old, crappy, “affordable housing” on Columbia Pike.

    • Jezebel

      G, I doubt you’re a liberal.

      One truism about Arlington is, you can travel just a few blocks in any direction and come across housing much better, or much worse, than your own. The only exception (that proves the rule) to this maxim is the upper reaches of 22207, but even the western parts of 22207 are… quite ordinary.

    • Bill

      Giving to WETA or Nature Conservancy or the Human Rights Campaign may give you cocktail-party cred, but it doesn’t mean you’re some sort of liberal.

      Each Board member lives near affordable housing of some sort. In fact, Barbara Favola and Mary Hynes live in Lyon Village, which has the Views at Clarendon project being built a block from First Baptist Church. Favola strongly supported this project from the beginning, in the face of countless NIMBY lawsuits. This even though she actually LIVES in Lyon Village, and walks by the Glassmans, Tayloes and Rohlfings on the way to the Clarendon restaurants.

      Hynes…not so much. She certainly spoke not so favorably toward the project during County Board hearings back before she joined the Board. However, she did better than Ferguson in that she at least voted in favor of continuing with the project after Round 2 or 3 of the lawsuit. In doing so, the Board beat back the neighbors’ efforts to drive up the costs such that the County would walk away. A winning strategy in Falls Church, but the Arlington County Board held fast.

    • Steve

      I live near some section 8, and there’s no crime to speak of, though I do see once in a while people in there driving around in BMWs. I make 6 figures and can’t afford one, yet someone in section 8 housing drives one and is allowed to live in subsidized housing? Nice use of my taxdollars. But for the most part, I haven’t seen problems like that. Though i still resent libs giving away subsidized housing to maintain their hold on power in this county.

      • South Arlington

        Pretty sure the 1.8% in Section 8 housing would really swing the elections and “keep the libs in power”. Your simple minded conspiracy theories are entertaining though.

      • rcw

        Care to explain how the Arlington county board uses HUD’s federal Section 8 voucher program to maintain its power? Also be sure to wear your tinfoil hat and be on the lookout for the “black helicopters”

      • beamer

        So you have special access to the private Section 8 voucher records and auto registration, and you checked both to ascertain that the person driving the BMW is actually on Section 8, huh?

        No, you didn’t.

    • local

      Then you’re not as liberal as they come, G.

  • DouroDouro

    Then MOVE and have your nasty tax dollars spent somewhere else 🙂

    And seriously, what’s up with your section 8 obsession?

  • You do realize that the County Board has final say in this matter? The CM has often said “we don’t need any more taxes” and the board says, yes we do!

    • local

      You’re just itching for a tax increase, huh TG?

  • Greg

    I for one wouldn’t mind a very slight tax increase if it meant certain services could be restored and other long standing community resources that have been cut could be funded.

    I say that on the condition that when the County is in better shape financially, taxes are lowered (I know, wishful thinking). Also, there should be a continued effort to cut the waste from the County budget (yeah, yeah, also wishful thinking).

    • Jezebel

      … and what “waste” would that be?

      • Greg

        Really? Have you been paying attention? Here’s one example. The County dropped nearly $2MM on a lawsuit against the HOT lanes. I would bet that if you cut the fees associated with pursuing ridiculous civil rights claims and claims against individuals from that suit the County could have renovated the Planetarium.

  • Reality

    There are approx. 1400 Section 8 vouchers in Arlington. At approx. 2.5 persons per household, that comes out to about 1.8 percent of the nearly 210,000 County population. Sorry to disturb your blog with facts.

  • Bender

    Nearly a billion-dollar budget. A BILLION DOLLARS!

    And we get people suggesting that there is no waste.

    • Thes

      Please identify the waste, specifically.

      • Bender

        See what I mean? No amount of spending is too much. It is no wonder the country is going bankrupt.

        • local

          Thes asked you to define a waste. Instead of doing so, you took that question as evidence that you’re right?

          It wasn’t a rhetorical question. Just tell us what you think is waste we need to cut.

  • brad

    how will iPark be affected by parking rate increases? aren’t those rates locked into the programming?

    will they just discontinue thier use (which seems will happen soon anyway), or allow my iParks to be grandfathered in at the lower rates? if so, i’ll stock them up now…

  • Mark

    Am i reading the numbers correctly? The budget for the schools is 1/3 the overall budget? Does that sound right?

    • local

      Sounds about right.

    • Wayne Kubicki

      The transfer out of the County budget to the Schools (which has their own budget, and has some revenue sources over & above the County transfer) is proposed at $378.2M, which is 38% of the County General Fund proposed budget.

  • Math Is Fun

    Really? “No Real Estate Tax Hike in County Manager’s Proposed Budget?” I would use some of the 6.3 percent hike in property tax assessments and corresponding hike in the County’s real estate tax revenue to pay for additional math education. This technique of messing around with the valuations every year seems to confuse enough people into thinking that the County hasn’t raised taxes. In New England, real estate valuations are often set every five years (lessening the ability to use valuations as a backdoor tax increase) and–imagine this–when the valuations change, the discussion turns to setting the tax rate so that it matches the previous year’s budget, with increases to the tax rate then discussed openly and transparently at that point.

    The point of measuring the value of individual properties is to adjust our taxes relative to each other, so that similarly situated people are treated the same and differently situated people are treated differently. Properties are supposed to be re-evaluated in order to capture changes to them. If you focus instead on raising the value of everyone’s property by 6.3 percent and do not adjust the tax rate, you are simply raising taxes. Yes, I know that commercial properties took a greater hit and the County Board’s properties received tax relief. But in the aggregate, Arlington has just grown accustomed to using–in most years–the valuation process as a back-door tax increase. That becomes less fun in a down real estate market. But in any event, it is not a model of transparent and open government.

    • Burger

      No, no, no, you don’t understand some of the economic wizards on here like Mehoo and Local think it is not a tax increase because you are wealthier when the county tells you that your house is more valuable. I mean that ignores the basic reality that you can spend that wealth like any other asset but hey, you are wealthier so it is okay to raise RE assessments to pay for such stupid crap like an artsphere or 5 million dollar dog park. Let’s also ignore that Arlington has one of the highest debt to gdp ratio in the Commonwealth.

      But, you are wealthier according to some so it is okay to raise taxes.

      • Lester

        lol, that’s funny. You said mehoo AND local.

      • mehoo

        So when property values went down the last few years, you called it a tax cut and called the County Board members to thank them? Sure you did.

        Don’t play these kinds of games with me Burger, you’ll regret it.

        • madisonmanor

          TAX CUT??!! TAX CUT??!! Not in MY backyard. My county taxes went down a whopping $6 over the “downturn”. Still up over 40% since I bought 8 years ago. The increase in water, sewer and trash MORE than made up for those “savings”. Thank the County Board? Phhhhhft.

          • mehoo

            So the value of your home didn’t drop like a rock in the recession? And you’re complaining about that?

          • madisonmanor

            Ahhh – now I better understand Burger’s “economic wizard” comment directed at you. Using your logic, would you do my taxes so I could get back twice what I paid? “Value” of house (as assessed by the COUNTY) completely offset by the raise in the tax rate – almost exactly.

          • mehoo

            Ah, I see what you mean. Rates rose last year. But that’s not what Burger means. He’s saying that a rise in assessments, without a rate increase, is a tax increase. Not really.

            I understand that you have to pay cash now for taxes on property, despite the fact that you won’t appreciate the increase in value until you sell it some day. That’s a burden to many of us, including me. But calling it a tax increase isn’t really honest. And that has nothing to do with economics, just English.

            Perhaps the county should lower rates when assessments go up (which I think they’ve done in past years). But that would mean they would also be justified in raising rates when assessments go down too.

          • Overgrown Bush

            Hmmm…mehoo…. I’m paying more dollars in tax this year than I paid last year on a piece of property/house that has not changed. Thus, my taxes have increased. Call it what you want, but to my bank account it is a tax increase.

          • mehoo

            We can go back and forth on this all day, but let’s not. As long as we’re clear about what’s happening and why, and don’t play political word games, it doesn’t matter. Just remember, when your tax bill goes DOWN due to a decline in property values but with the same tax rate, you have to call that a tax cut too.

          • Dan

            “And that has nothing to do with economics, just English.”

            No….those are current dollars out of my pocket into the County’s pocket.

            And that ain’t just rhetoric !!

          • mehoo

            But this dispute is about words, not dollars.

          • Overgrown Bush

            No political word games from me! If, by some miracle, my tax bill declines (regardless of tax rate) then I will indeed call it a tax cut! That isn’t the norm however.

          • mehoo

            Great. But why not simply say it’s an increase in taxes due to a higher assessment, or decrease due to a lower one, and avoid the confusion with tax rate changes? That’s not only more clear, it keeps people on both sides from playing political word games.

          • mehoo

            P.S. I say this because when most people hear “tax increase” they think of a tax rate increase.

            If you pay more in taxes this year than last because your income went up, but not due to any increase in income tax rates, would you call that a tax increase too? I don’t think so.

          • Overgrown Bush

            That’s too logical, mehoo. How dare you apply logic to politicians.

          • Lou

            Taxes increased. The amount you pay, when you pay your tax bill, is higher. You write a bigger check. That is when taxes increase. Everybody understands the concept of rate.

          • mehoo

            So Lou, you think the title of this article should be “Huge Real Estate Tax Hike?” Do you think that would make things more clear, or less?

          • Overgrown Bush

            I think this statement shows it is a tax increase, netting more money to the county:

            “Arlington is benefiting from a 6.3 percent hike in assessed property values, which is expected to bring in an additional $30 million in tax revenue for the county.”

          • mehoo

            Well, no, it doesn’t.

            Out of context, pretty much anyone would assume a “tax increase” means a measure that deliberately raises rates or otherwise more revenue, not an increase in tax revenue due to an increase in the size of the thing being taxed.

          • Overgrown Bush

            Funny. My house and lot is the same size at it was last year.

          • Lou

            Why are you so obsessed with what other people will think if you say tax revenue is up? We’re just having a conversation here, and it’s clear we all understand the semantics and how the tax burden is derived. We all know the rate stayed the same and assessments are up. Here is what the County press release says:

            Average homeowner’s tax and fee burden to increase less than inflation

            At the current tax rate of 95.8 cents per $100 of assessed value (including the sanitary district tax), the overall tax and fee burden for the average Arlington homeowner would increase 1.4%, from $6,398 to $6,487 – about $7 a month. The increase is less than the current inflation rate of 1.5% in the metropolitan area.

          • mehoo

            Overgrown Bush – I won’t even bother to explain it to you.

            Lou – some people want to use these terms to play political games.

          • Lou

            And by some people, you include yourself, right?

          • Westover

            Overgrown Bush- You need to go study your tax terms from Gov 102 again. A take policy/rate that is revenue positive does not mean that you have raised taxes. In fact, regardless of your ploitical stance, left or right, a positive revenue generation when you do not raise the rate is a good thing. It means some sector of the taxed economy is growing. There are times where tax cuts have in fact lead to revenue increase (not as often as some on the far Right would want you to believe, but far more often than those on the Left will admit) There are times where a tax rate increase will lead to negative revenue (again, not as often as some on the far Right would want you to believe, but far more often than those on the Left will admit). The fact that we have a relatively small real estate tax(although it would be nice to have it even a bit smaller) here in Arlington while our real estate values are rising again and providing more revenue for the counties needs is a good thing. The Board will take far more credit than they deserve for this, but they share a little of it, they could be running this place like the Goons in PG County have been.

          • mehoo

            No, Lou, I’m not playing any word games. I’m promoting honest, complete, clear language.

          • Lou

            Is the County playing word games when their own press release says it is an increase in tax burden to homeowners?

          • Westover

            You mean the County that filed a lawsuit saying asphalt is racist? The Tax Burden, meaning the total of tax revenue raised, has always been highest for property owners here. If when all other things being equal and stagnent, the property values raise, then yes the burden on property owners goes up. However that still does not mean that taxes were raised.

          • mehoo

            Lou – if they say “tax BURDEN” then no. Words matter.

          • mehoo

            OG – I have the funny feeling when it’s time to sell your house, you won’t have a problem with the value going up despite the same size.

          • Overgrown Bush

            Westover and mehoo: You don’t need to explain it to me. I understand how it works, and the word games being played. You clearly don’t understand it from an individual point of view rather than a county political posturing point of view. As an individual, I’m paying more in dollars this year than last for the same piece of property. That is an increase regardless of how you want to politically spin it, the words used, or perceived lack of understanding. All I am saying, all politics stripped aside, is that the amount of money I am paying in TAX is increasing.

          • Lou

            So mehoo, if the average homeowner pays $6,398 one year, and $6,487 the next, is that an increase, or a decrease?

            There’s only one right answer, but I know somehow you will find the wrong one.

          • Overgrown Bush

            By the way, mehoo, your comparison of income tax to real estate tax is illogical. Your home is an asset (or liability if you are under water! LOL) for which you are taxed on assessed value. Income is income. If I set $100K on a table that I made this year I would be taxed on it once. If I set my home on a table I am taxed on it each year at a varying rate and varying assessment, both of which define the total tax bill. If the varying rate and varying assessment define an increase in my tax bill from the previous year, I am paying more. So, tell me, how does this compare to income tax at all?

          • mehoo

            It’s an increase. But it’s not really a “tax increase” as most people understand that term. It’s an increase in your tax bill, i.e. your tax burden.

            Why is this so controversial? I’m promoting more clear language, stripped of politics.

          • Westover

            The tax policy answer is: depends.

          • mehoo

            It compares to income tax because, if your income double and your tax burden therefore doubled (forget marginal rates, it’s just an analogy), it would be very misleading to say “the government increased my taxes.”

          • Overgrown Bush

            ok… I’ll agree. Tax increase vs. tax rate increase. No tax rate increase, but a tax increase. Agreed!

          • mehoo

            A tax rate is like a price. If you pay more for gas because you buy more, would you say gas prices increased? Of course not. Your cost increased, but not the price. Important distinction.

          • mehoo

            OG – okay, but there’s a problem. People already use “tax increase” to mean “tax rate increase” all the time. That’s what I’m talking about.

          • Overgrown Bush

            Yeah, but you are equating income to your home/property. If I didn’t make any improvements to the home (additions, new bathroom, etc.) and my lot size didn’t increase how does that equate to an increase in income as you describe it? That’s my point… the property doesn’t change. The assessment and the rate are “tweaked”, somewhat suspiciously, to increase the tax due. That doesn’t happen with income.

          • Overgrown Bush

            mehoo – I understand you are talking about the confusion of terms between “tax increase” and “tax rate increase”. I do think we actually are in agreement except I’m trying to make clarity between terms. The fact is, the county will tweak both the tax rate and assessment to obtain the funds they require.

          • mehoo

            Yes, OG, we understand each other. Thanks.

            This all started when Burger accused me of not understanding what’s going on. He was wrong.

          • Overgrown Bush

            Yes, and he bowed out of the debate.

          • Lou

            So you’re not really concerned about people playing politics or word games, just that some anonymous person on the internet said something about you? How old are you anyway?

    • Westover

      The assessment on our place is substantially lower than what I can get for the place, and what it was appraised at for a refi last year. I will not be complaining about my slightly higher than last year assessment. Although if the recovery of local real estate continues and they DON’T drop the rate a little last year, I will be complaining.

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