Arlington’s budget binge
By Andrew Bradley
Since 2001, Arlington County’s spending has risen a staggering 75 percent, from $537.8 million to the proposed fiscal 2011 budget of $942 million. This drunken spending spree came on the backs of Arlington homeowners, whose property taxes soared through assessments that often increased by more than $100,000 a year. Instead of substantially cutting the property tax rate, the county swallowed the money.
Now the cash river is slowing and — unbelievably — county managers claim they just can’t live without the extra $400 million per year that they didn’t have just a few years ago. (Who would run a household so irresponsibly that, as your income almost doubles in a few years, you somehow find ways to spend all that extra money and more, year after year?) Instead of sobering up and heading for budget rehab, the county’s solution is to raise the property tax rate by more than 10 percent,
7 percent, sticking it to Arlington homeowners once again.
The Arlington County Board: not an adult in the room.
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