The Right Note: Take the CivFed Recommendation

Mark KellyThe Right Note is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of

On Tuesday, the Arlington Civic Federation voted to recommend a 1-cent tax rate reduction to the Arlington County Board. The Board should adopt the recommendation.

The CivFed resolution noted that over the past five years, the average homeowner saw a $1,113 increase in taxes and fees. A 1-cent reduction this year would not cut a homeowner’s tax burden. It would only stop property taxes from increasing quite as much.

Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz already recommended a .5-cent rate reduction as part of his budget proposal, which would only lower revenue growth by $3.5 million. Either option would be welcome news to homeowners. In fact, more relief would be even better news.

The CivFed resolution also rightly notes lowering property taxes would relieve some of the upward pressure on the costs of both homeownership and rent.

After years of ramped up tax bills to pay everything from tricycles to bus stops and so much more, surely the Board can find an additional $3.5 million in a nearly $1.2 billion budget when they vote on April 19th.

If the Board is accepting recommendations, designating $3.5 million from closeout funds would certainly do the trick. The Board can also look to the CivFed report which proposed budget reductions to cover the price tag. (The CivFed proposed reductions had not yet been posted on its website.)

And what about the new honorary Poet Laureate position? The decision did catch the attention of a few budget watchdogs who are wondering what the County Board will think of next. But at $1500 a year, not all of which to come out of taxpayer funds, it is a bargain when compared to the now defunct Artisphere or the Signature Theater bailout.

The ARLnow story on the search for our first poetry chief did cause some commenters to audition for the job, including a couple verses written about me. In the spirit of good natured fun, I offer this haiku in response.

Trolley has been nixed.

Taxpayers are rejoicing

gondolas are next.

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Hello Everyone — You are invited to the final meeting of NAACP Arlington Branch NAACP for 2022
When: Dec 12, 2022, 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: 2022 General Membership Meeting — NAACP Arlington Branch
Register in advance for this webinar

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

7:00 pm Meeting Opens.
7:30 pm Installation
8:00 pm Presentation/Q&A; by Dave Schutz on Ranked Choice Voting
8:30 pm Final Remarks and Comments by Newly Elected Members
9:00 pm Meeting Adjourns

Installation Official Robert N. Barnette, Jr. President, Virginia State Conference NAACP The President of the Virginia State Conference NAACP will serve as the Installation Official and provide remarks for our newly elected officers at the general membership.

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Submit your own Announcement here.

Join us December 10 & 11 for our Annual Handmade Holiday Workshop Series. We have a myriad of fun and festive programs from linoleum block wrapping paper printing and buttonhole book making workshops led by Eliza Clifford to a meditative grid workshop and Calligraphy Card Making with Anjelika Deogirikar. Join these wonderful artists and get creative this holiday season!

Submit your own Announcement here.

Light Up Arlington – Clarendon Menorah Lighting

Join us as we celebrate the holiday of Chanukah! Enjoy delicious Latkes, hot cocoa, donuts and more!

Clarendon Menorah Lighting and Community Celebration

Experience the festival of lights!!

*Lighting of a giant 9 foot Menorah

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National Chamber Ensemble – Holiday Cheer!

NCE’s Holiday Concert will bring the finest classical masterpieces and holiday favorites together for the whole family. The festivities begin with Leroy Anderson’s classic “Sleigh Ride” and “Chanukkah Festival”, music from the Nutcracker and by J.S. Bach.

Outstanding Young Artist


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