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County Sees Revenue Loss As State Funds Dry Up

The downturn in the economy has been unkind to the county’s finances.

Arlington has had to make service cuts in each of the past two budgets as taxes and other revenue sources dried up. After 2009, assessed property values suffered their first year-over-year decline since 1995, prompting the county to hike property taxes to make up for what otherwise would have been a dramatic loss of revenue.

When it comes to real estate taxes, the county can always increase the tax rate for an expected revenue shortfall. But one area that’s largely out of the county’s control is the funds it receives from the state. And in the past four years, overall state funding to Arlington County — excluding schools — has dropped $18 million.

County Board Member Barbara Favola cited the figure at a board meeting yesterday afternoon.

Starting in FY 2008 and up to the current FY 2011, Arlington has lost progressively more revenue each year:

  • FY 2008: -$438,214
  • FY 2009: -$2,603,394
  • FY 2010: -$7,045,368
  • FY 2011: -$7,900,610

Although state revenue still makes up about 6 percent of the Arlington’s budget, the overall decline has meant greater reliance on local sources of revenue, including taxes. As of February, state revenue was expected to decline by $600,000 to $62.6 million in the FY 2012 county budget that’s currently under consideration by the board.

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