PRESS RELEASE: Tax Gouging Is No Longer An Option

May 1, 2023.

I’m Audrey Clement, the Independent candidate for Arlington County Board on November 7, 2023, and I’m concerned that the County is tax gouging residential taxpayers.

On April 22 the Board adopted a $1.55 billion budget that includes a 4.7 percent effective real estate tax rate increase (FY 2024 Online Budget, p. 109).  As a result, the typical single family homeowner’s tax burden will rise to $12,650, according to the Gazette Leader.

This brings the County’s annual average 10 year effective tax rate increase to 4.5 percent or almost double the 10 year average Consumer Price Index.

The County argues that it’s not tax gouging, because the tax hike is driven by rising real estate assessments, not the tax rate. Yet Fairfax County Board of Supervisors (BOS) Chair Jeffrey McKay recently told his constituents: “I will not support a budget that does not reduce the tax rate.”

McKay followed through with a budget that trimmed the Fairfax County real estate tax rate from $1.11 to $1.095 per $100 of assessed value, reducing tax bills by 20 percent (p. 5). That in combination with other tax rate reductions and exclusions will provide $113 million in tax relief to Fairfax County residents.

I applaud the leadership Chairman Jeffrey McKay has demonstrated in making tax relief a priority. But you don’t have to relocate to Fairfax County to get the benefit of sound leadership. If elected to Arlington County Board, I will seek immediate tax relief for residents and businesses, while providing for a balanced budget.

I also pledge to:

  • Reduce the office vacancy rate by lobbying federal agencies to relocate here.
  • Demand full transparency in the deals the County cuts with developers.
  • Preserve Arlington’s cultural heritage. Stop permitting the destruction of historic structures like the Rouse estate.
  • Save our parks, streams and tree canopy. Stop clearcutting wooded areas along streams like Donaldson Run and Gulf Branch.

If you share my agenda, then:

  • Spread the word about my candidacy.
  • Donate to my campaign.
  • Help make the “Arlington Way” more than an empty phrase.
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