Tax Hikes Ahead?

Tax Hikes Ahead?
Tax revenues are projected to be down 25% this year and 12% next year unless the County Board takes action. At the Nov 24 County Board hearing Board Chair Libby Garvey said. “Our guidance to the Manager today starts what I expect to be a difficult conversation with our community about priorities, cuts to programs and services, and potential tax increases over the coming months, as we focus our limited resources on defeating this deadly virus, preserving our social safety net, protecting public health, and supporting our students and those in our community who face food and housing insecurity.”

Board member Christian Dorsey said the Board does not take the possibility of tax increases lightly, but cautionined against prioritizes that harm marginalized citizens who have been disproportionately hit by the pandemic.

Actions and priorities under consideration include:
● Reducing programs and services where necessary
● A real estate tax rate increase, increased cigarette taxes, and a plastic bag tax
● Increasing the stormwater tax rate
● Funding affordable housing, focusing on preventing evictions and providing housing grants
● Funding the COVID-19 response, including the anticipated vaccine program
● Opening the Lubber Run Community Center and Long Bridge Aquatics and Fitness Facility
● Implementing Rank Choice Voting in Arlington
● Revenue sharing between the County and Arlington Public Schools, giving 47% to APS

Timeline:
● Dec 9 virtual Budget Community Forum hosted by the County Manager
● Feb 2021 County Manager proposes budget
● Apr 2020 public hearings
● Apr 2020 Board adopts FY 2022 budget
● July 1, 2021 begins 2022 Fiscal Year
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