Arlington City Council approves $523 million budget, cuts tax rate

The Arlington City Council Sept. 19 adopted a $523 million operating budget for fiscal year 2020 and cut the city’s property tax rate for the fourth year in a row, officials said in a news release.

Budget plans for the fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, include significant investments in public safety and technology, continuation and expansion of the successful Via rideshare pilot program, and support for Arlington’s award-winning parks and recreation amenities – including

openings of the Southeast Recreation Center and the combined East Arlington Recreation Center and Library.

In addition to eight new investigative support officers for the police department and funding for the firefighter academy and Fire Prevention K9 staffing, the budget includes funding for new library materials, right-of-way mowing and additional LED street lighting.

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The council property tax rate was reduced from $.0634 per $100 of assessed value to $.0624 per $100 of assessed value. The reduction was the result of rising property values.

The city’s property tax rate, which remained flat for 12 years prior to the series of reductions, has now dropped by nearly 2.5 cents since 2016.

The city’s operating revenue comes largely from property taxes and sales taxes. Arlington projects it will collect $118.8 million in general fund property taxes and $68.4 million in general fund sales taxes during the coming fiscal year. Both amounts represent increases over the current year.