Press Club

Morning Poll: Libraries vs. Taxes

Tonight at 7:00 p.m. the Arlington County Board will hold a hearing on its FY 2012 budget.

Although Arlington will benefit from rising property values this year in the form of higher tax collections, the Board still must make tough choices when it comes to deciding what to fund and how to fund it.

County Manager Barbara Donnellan has recommended keeping real estate taxes steady at 95.8 cents per $100 in assessed value, following a year in which the rate jumped 8.3 cents. The Board gave itself the flexibility of raising that rate slightly by advertising a 96.8 cent rate.

Meanwhile, various groups have been asking the board to increase funding their local priorities, from affordable housing to parks to helping the homeless. One group that has been particularly vocal is supporters of Arlington’s public libraries, who want to see a restoration of the library hours and materials funding after they were cut last year.

If you had to choose between a small property tax increase and a restoration of library funds, or no tax increase and no restoration of funds, which would you choose?

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