County Sees Revenue Loss As State Funds Dry Up

by ARLnow.com March 16, 2011 at 9:56 am 2,418 19 Comments

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.

  • Overgrown Bush

    Filing lawsuits and practicing isolationistic ideals has drawbacks. While some of us may not want the evil the rest of the state brings (sarcasm at work here), we certainly want to take their money.

    • PikeHoo

      Yeah, the HOT lanes lawsuit and those “isolationist ideals” are much more influential on state budget allocations than that little nuisance called a Recession.

    • R.Griffon

      Actually, you should probably take a hard look at the sources of the state revenue by county before making that accusation. I don’t know it myself, but I’d guess there’s a very good chance that Arlington receives disproportionately less than it contributes compared to most other counties in the state.

      The notion that Arlington county and it’s residents are a poor little county who contributes little or nothing to state coffers while crying for handouts is … questionable at best.

  • steve

    how about reducing or eliminating all the handouts you dems give to buy votes from people?

    • local

      Which ones, steve? Name some.

      • ClarendonKing

        well snow blowers and affordable housing to name 2.

  • Arlwhenever

    Only in Favolanomics can an increase in state revenues from $64.3 million in FY 2008 to $68.7 million in FY 2010 (both from the County’s published financial statements) — a period when inflation was approximately zero — be considered a loss in state revenue. If Favola doesn’t like the allocation of state revenue she can make up for it by reallocating the application of the other 94 percent of the budget instead of doing her poor-mouth whining routine.

    • The “loss” figures take into consideration “formulaic increases for local aid allocations” that were eliminated

      • Arlwhenever

        Right, the loss is an accounting gimmick — it’s not an outright loss.

    • Jeff Miller


    • Dan


  • LyonSteve

    Still getting their ducks in order for property tax increase.

    • R.Griffon

      Well, it’s gotta come from somewhere. You either increase taxes or cut services. Or a mix of both. *shrugs*

      • 4Arl

        As Tim Kaine once said, there is a better way. It would probably need the I.G. that Chris suggested, but how about cutting the “service” of bad management, doing things more efficiently, etc. Sure, certain people will be impacted, but people have already been affected, and long term it is more sustainable.

    • local

      When the economy is booming again and there’s a surplus, will you want the county to save it for a rainy day or will you call for a tax cut?

      • Ben

        No – governments should behave like everyone else. When the economy is down you budget more wisely.

  • Bender

    When the County is set to spend nearly a billion dollars this year, to bemoan “cuts” and “revenue losses” is rather absurd.

  • Chris

    Arlington County government needs an Inspector General!

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