The Arlington County Board is set to vote on modified version of County Manager Barbara Donnellan’s recommended budget that includes a 3.5 cent tax hike while eliminating proposed cuts to the police and fire departments.
Donnellan had proposed a 3.2 cent real estate tax increase. The Board gave itself extra budget wiggle room by advertising a 5 cent increase in February. At a Fiscal Year 2014 budget markup work session Tuesday afternoon, the Board tentatively settled on a tax rate in-between the two, but closer to that proposed by Donnellan. The extra 0.3 cents will bring nearly $1 million in additional tax revenue.
The Board will vote on a final budget and tax rate at its meeting on Saturday.
The marked-up budget removes Donnellan’s proposal to slash community policing and reduce fire department fill-in staffing. As promised by County Board Chair Walter Tejada, it also restores funding for the county’s child care office.
Other additions to the budget, as reported to ARLnow.com, include $400,000 for permanent supportive housing, $660,000 for human services case managers and community nursing.
The Board also made some preliminary decisions about what to do with $11 million in “close out” funds left over from the FY 2013 budget. Among other measures, the Board will consider directing $3 million to the Affordable Housing Investment Fund and $2 million to a land acquisition fund for the parks department, along with additional funding for numerous community non-profit organizations.
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