- One-cent cut in real estate property tax rate
- Keeps competitive pay for employees
- More funding for Schools
- Maintaining key services, infrastructure maintenance, social safety net
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Arlington County Board today adopted a $1.15 billion General Fund Budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, cutting one cent off the real estate tax rate while adding funding for schools and year-round yard waste pickup to the County Manager's Proposed Budget.
“This Budget maintains key services, preserves our social safety net, and adds funding for Schools, while giving some relief to homeowners who will see their real estate taxes rise as a result of increased assessments,” said Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette.
The Board voted 5 to 0 to adopt the Budget. Fiscal Year 2015 begins July 1, 2014.
In balancing the budget, the Board included a real estate tax rate of $0.996 per $100 of assessed value, a one-cent decrease from the $1.006 rate in Calendar Year 2013 (including the sanitary district tax). This is a $6.6 million reduction in real estate tax revenues from the budget proposed by the County Manager. County operations, not Schools, will absorb the full cut.
The County's Operating and Capital Budget will increase 4.6% from the FY 2014 Adopted Budget, while Schools funding will increase 6%.
Average tax and fee burden to increase 4.6%
Arlington's real estate tax rate remains the lowest in the region. Under the Adopted Budget, the “average” Arlington homeowner (with a home valued at $552,700) will see their overall tax and fee burden rise 4.6%, about $27 a month, or $324 a year.
This reflects the 5.3% increase in the average residential property assessment and a 3.4% increase in the water-sewer rate. The household solid waste rate also will increase by 4%. Part of that increase will fund, starting in July 2014, year-round collection of yard waste – a service provided by nearly all of Arlington's neighboring jurisdictions.
Increased funding for Arlington Public Schools
The Board maintained the County's commitment to keeping Arlington Public Schools among the nation's finest. It provided a total of $440.6 million to Schools for the FY 2015 Budget, adding $19.6 million to base funding and another $8.4 million for school construction or other one-time expenses. The Board also added funds for another school clinic aide and three new School Resource Officers. Under the FY 2015 Budget, Arlington's support for our students now exceeds $19,000 per pupil – more than any other school district in the region.
Strategic Investments with one-time funds
The Board provided funding for several key efforts. Highlights include:
- Economic stabilization fund ($3 million)
- ConnectArlington, to provide high speed fiber connectivity for Arlington businesses and to accelerate economic development ($1.6 million)
- Tourism marketing ($200,000)
- Numerous social safety net priorities, including staffing and operating costs of the new Homeless Services Center, expected to open in early 2015 ($700,000); $500,000 above this year's funding for affordable housing; a new sexual assault hotline ($52,000) a mental health coordinator to train first responders and the judiciary ($72,606).
- Overtime for additional police to manage pub crawl enforcement ($42,000)
- Continuing Police participation in the regional gang task force ($25,000)
The Board also accepted the Manager's proposal to fund merit step increases for employees, while incorporating a hiring slowdown that will reduce FY 2015 expenses.
To learn more about the FY 2015 Budget, visit the County website.