The Arlington County Board adopted a $1.09 billion general fund budget for fiscal year (FY) 2014 that includes a 3.5-cent increase in the real estate tax rate and additional funding for affordable housing, maintenance of County-owned facilities and infrastructure, land acquisition, and core services.
“We heard from Arlingtonians that they want to preserve key services, restore proposed cuts to our police and fire departments and inspections of child-care facilities; care for those most in need; do what it takes to keep our schools among the nation’s best, and increase our investments in affordable housing and capital maintenance,” said County Board Chairman J. Walter Tejada. “This budget builds on the Board’s direction to the Manager to sustain vital services while building for the future.”
The Board made a number of changes to the county manager’s proposed budget after hearing from hundreds of County residents. The adopted FY 2014 general fund budget, which includes funding for Arlington Public Schools, grew 3.7 percent over the FY 2013 budget. The real estate tax rate will rise from $0.971 per $100 of assessed value (including sanitary district tax) to $1.006. The overall tax and fee burden for the average Arlington homeowner will increase 4.1 percent — or about $23 a month.
The FY 2014 budget includes no increases for personal property tax, business tangible property, business and professional occupational licenses, water-sewer fee, dedicated stormwater tax, or commercial transportation tax rates. The household solid waste rate will also be slightly reduced, from $293.92 to $293.76.
Affordable housing is one of our community’s top priorities. Noting the County’s high property values, the Board added $3 million in one-time funding to the Manager’s proposed $9.5 million for the County’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF). The Board’s actions bring AHIF funding to its highest levels.
Tejada cautioned that sequestration, Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process and sluggish pace of the nation’s economic recovery will continue to put pressure on the County budget for at least the next two years. Many of the funding restorations made by the Board this year, he said, were with one-time funds and may not be continued in coming years. For more information, visit the County website, http://www.arlingtonva.us; search “budget.”