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Arlington taxpayers could see higher bills next year

Saturday - 2/22/2014, 1:48pm  ET

WASHINGTON -- The average Arlington taxpayer will likely see a higher bill next year, but not because tax rates are going up.

The Arlington County Board voted Saturday to advertise the same tax rates for next fiscal year's budget as the highest possible rate that can be adopted when the budget is finalized this spring.

County Manager Barbara Donellan says tax assessments rose much more than expected, which means the county will bring in more money in real estate taxes even with the tax rate staying the same.

The county estimates that the average homeowner would pay $368 more under the proposed budget, due to higher property values and some increased fees.

Donellan says she added more money to the paving budget for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, and to fund schools.

The proposed budget also includes a new planner for the Crystal City area, and continues help with recovery from BRAC, the military Base Realignment and Closure program.

Work sessions on the budget will begin later this month, with public hearings March 25 and 27. The board is tentatively scheduled to adopt the final budget on April 22.

While the board was only voting to advertise the rates proposed by the county manager, the discussion at Saturday's meeting focused on the new Columbia Pike/Crystal City streetcar line. Later in Saturday's meeting, the board approved a contract for construction of the enhanced bus system that will eventually be developed into the streetcar connecting Bailey's Crossroads and Fairfax County through Arlington to Metrorail.

The advertised tax rates and fees for calendar year 2014 are:

  • Commercial real estate tax for transportation initiatives at the current rate of $0.125 per $100
  • Sanitary district tax for stormwater management at the current rate of $0.013 per $100 of assessed value
  • General personal property tax rate of $5.00 per $100 of assessed value and a personal property tax rate
  • Calendar Year (CY) 2014 tax rate for the Ballston Business Improvement Service District (Ballston BID) of $0.045 per $100 in assessed value that is in addition to the current real estate rate
  • Calendar Year (CY) 2014 tax rate for the Crystal City Business Improvement Service District (CCBID) of $0.043 per $100 in assessed value that is in addition to the current real estate rate
  • Calendar Year (CY) 2014 tax rate for the Rosslyn Business Improvement Service District (Rosslyn BID) of $0.078 per $100 of assessed value that is in addition to the current real estate rate
  • To increase the water rate by no more than $0.12, from $3.98 to $4.10 per thousand gallons and to increase the sewer rate by no more than $0.31, from $8.63 to $8.94 per thousand gallons.
  • Arlington Transit (ART) and some Transit for Arlington Residents (STAR) fares would rise. Regular ART fares would rise from $1.50 to $1.75, while discount fares would rise from 75 cents to 85 cents. STAR Zone 1 fares would rise from $3.00 to $3.50.
  • Annual Household Solid Waste Rate would rise from $293.76 to up to $313.80

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