For Immediate Release
Monday, December 15, 2008
Contact: Diana Sun 703-228-3247 (voice) 703-228-4611(TTY)
ARLINGTON, Va. --- In his monthly budget update to the public and the County Board, Arlington County Manager Ron Carlee today announced that the net change in residential assessments is a decline of 1.25%.
“I am pleased to report that there appears to be no further deterioration of economic conditions in Arlington from the projections presented to you in November,” reported Carlee. “The previous estimates of a $14 million shortfall in FY 2009 and a $40 million shortfall in FY 2010 are not being revised. Most importantly, we are not seeing conditions worsen beyond early estimates.”
Carlee reported that “the most encouraging news is in real estate assessments.” Residential assessments for existing properties (single-family, townhouse, and condo) will decline by 2.05%. The County had estimated earlier that declines could be as high as 5%.
Additionally, Arlington’s housing base expanded in 2008, including new condos and renovations and expansions of existing housing. As a consequence of these new investments in Arlington, the County’s overall net change in residential assessments is a decline of 1.25%.
Carlee cautioned that “We cannot conclude that there will not be further declines affecting 2010 assessments; however, by any objective standard, the Arlington housing market has been extremely resilient during this economic downturn.”
Commercial assessments are still in progress and information will be available later in December. “Based on what we know at this time, we do not expect the decline in commercial and residential real estate values together to be greater than the -2% previously estimated,” explained Carlee. “In fact, performance may be slightly better.”
Overall, real estate and other revenues will be below the FY 2009 approved budget and the County government will be required to adjust tax rates and reduce services. Later this week, the Governor’s office will release its recommended budget and Arlington will learn of further budget cuts. Arlington officials are also carefully watching trends in sales, meals, and hotel taxes.
Arlington, Va., is a world-class residential, business and tourist location that was originally part of the "10 miles square" parcel of land surveyed in 1791 to be the Nation's Capital. It is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the United States, occupying slightly less than 26 square miles. Arlington maintains a rich variety of stable neighborhoods, quality schools and enlightened land use, and received the Environmental Protection Agency's highest award for "Smart Growth" in 2002. Home to some of the most influential organizations in the world - including the Pentagon - Arlington stands out as one of America's preeminent places to live, visit and do business.