Press Club

County Manager proposes no increase in property tax rate

(Updated at 1:45 p.m.) Arlington’s property tax rate would not increase this year, under a proposal by Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz.

The County Manager’s recommendation for the advertised property tax rate was released ahead of Tuesday’s County Board meeting. The Board will vote at the meeting to advertise a rate, which sets the maximum rate that can be approved in a subsequent budget vote by the Board this spring.

A report notes that due to rises in property assessments this year, setting the same rate will be an effective tax increase on both homeowners and commercial property owners.

“The current base rate is $1.013 per $100 of real estate value,” says the report. “For FY 2023, this tax is projected to generate $852.2 million, which is 6.0 percent ($47.9 million) above FY 2022.”

“The average home value is up 5.3 percent over last year, from $724,400 to $762,700,” the report adds. “Overall, commercial property assessments increased by 0.6% over the previous year. At the current real estate rate of $1.013 plus the $0.017 rate for stormwater, the average Arlington homeowner would pay $7,856 per year in real estate taxes, a $395 or 5.3 percent increase over CY 2021.”

To generate the same property tax revenue as last year — an unlikely prospect given that the county previously referenced a “challenge in balancing the FY 2023 Budget” giving rising expenditures —  the Board would have to lower the tax rate significantly.

“The tax rate which would levy the same amount of real estate tax as last year, when multiplied by the new total assessed value of real estate with the exclusions mentioned above, would be $0.990 per $100 of assessed value,” the report says.

Among Schwartz’s other budget recommendations, the Board will consider lowering the annual Household Solid Waste rate from $318.61 to $307.89, thanks to a rise in the value of recycled material. Additionally, fees for ambulance transport services are set to be raised to between $750-1,000, depending on the level of care, which a Board report says is in line with the fees charged by other D.C. area jurisdictions.

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