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County Board Advertises Two Cent Tax Rate Hike

The Arlington County Board gave itself the flexibility to raise real estate taxes by as much as two cents as part of its FY 2013 budget process.

The Board voted unanimously last night to advertise a rate of 97.8 cents per $100 of assessed value for Calendar Year 2012, two cents higher than the 2011 rate. By law, the Board can set the tax rate no higher than the advertised rate, though it can set a lower rate.

The advertisement of a higher tax rate comes as the county is already assured of higher tax revenues, as a result of a 6.6 percent increase in residential and commercial real estate assessments.

As part of her recommended FY 2013 budget, County Manager Barbara Donnellan suggested a 0.5 cent tax rate hike and a 1.5 cent advertised rate. The budget includes increased spending on affordable housing, county employee compensation, restoration of branch library hours and Arlington Public Schools.

A public hearing on the FY 2013 budget is scheduled for March 20, while a hearing on the tax rate and fees is scheduled for March 22. Final budget adoption is expected on April 21.

“In the next six weeks we will hear more from the public, and weigh the needs of the community,” Arlington County Board Chair Mary Hynes said in a statement. “Our goal is to deliver a sustainable, balanced budget in April that spends tax dollars wisely, delivers core services efficiently and makes strategic investments in our infrastructure.”

Last night the Board also advertised a decrease in residential solid waste fees and an increase in fees for preschool, summer camp, senior adult and facility rental programs through the Department of Parks and Recreation.

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