County Board Set to Vote on 3.5 Cent Tax Hike

Arlington County Board members on Dec. 8, 2012The 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, 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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