County Board Advertises 2019 Tax Rate

Published on February 23, 2019

  • Citing Metro, Schools needs, advertises  proposed 2.75-cent rate increase
  • Board will vote on tax rate with April adoption of FY 2020 Budget
  • FY 2020 Budget hearing April 2, tax rate hearing April 4

The Arlington County Board today voted to advertise a proposed increase of 2.75 cents per $100 assessed value in the property tax rate for the 2019 Calendar Year. By law, the Board can adopt a tax rate no higher than the advertised rate, although it may adopt a lower rate.

"The Manager followed the Board's guidance in putting together his proposed budget," Arlington County Board Chair Christian Dorsey said. "But we now anticipate greater funding needs for Metro and for Schools. By advertising a higher tax rate than the Manager proposed, we have given ourselves flexibility to respond to community priorities and unanticipated developments."

The Board voted 4 to 1 to approve advertising a proposed 2.75-cent property tax rate increase, with Board Member Katie Cristol voting no. Cristol's substitute motion to advertise a proposed tax rate increase of 2 cents was defeated, 4-1, with Cristol voting in favor.  To view the staff presentation on the proposed FY 2020 budget and reports on the associated requests to advertise tax and fee rates, visit the County website. Scroll to Item No. 27 (A-O).

Board approves advertising proposed tax, fee increases

The Board approved advertising a series of tax and fee changes after the Manager formally presented his proposed $1.34 billion General Fund Fiscal Year 2020 Budget.  The Manager's proposed budget includes a 4.7 percent increase in ongoing and one-time spending over FY 2019. Nearly 40 percent of the proposed budget ($525.6 million) would fund Arlington Public Schools (APS).

A 2.75-cent tax rate increase, if adopted by the Board in April, would generate an expected $21.4 million in additional ongoing revenue. For the average Arlington homeowner, (home value of $658,600), that rate, together with the average increase in CY 2019 assessments and other proposed fee changes would increase their total tax and fees by $330 in FY 2020.


In November 2018, the Manager projected a budget gap of $20 million to $35 million for FY 2020. Schools projected a $43 million gap. Increased real estate assessments, lower costs for employee health insurance, cost efficiencies and projected higher interest earnings on the County's investments all helped significantly reduce that gap.

Next steps

The Board will review the Manager's proposed budget through a series of work sessions with the Manager, County departments and County advisory commissions in the coming weeks. The work sessions will be held in the County Board Room on the third floor of the Ellen M. Bozman Government Center, 2100 Clarendon Blvd., and are open to the public.

The Board will hold a public hearing on the budget at 7 p.m. on April 2. Starting at 8 a.m. Tuesday, March 26, you can sign up to speak at the hearing. The Board will hold a public hearing on the proposed tax rate at 7 p.m. on April 4. Starting at 8 a.m. Thursday, March 28, you can Sign-up online to speak at the hearing.

Both hearings will be held in the Board Room and will be live-streamed on the County website. The Board will adopt the FY 2020 Budget at its April meeting. The FY 2020 fiscal year begins July 1, 2019. To view the Manager's complete FY 2020 Budget proposal, visit the County website.

Share your thoughts with the Board on the proposed FY 2020 Budget

To submit a comment on the proposed budget, email the Board at: