Friday, November 7, 2014

Homeowners Will Be Hit With Big Tax Increases in FY 2016 -- Updated


 Hello,

County Board and School Board met this morning in a joint work session and the topic was the Arlington Public School System and the County's and APS's FY 2016 respective budgets.

According to Arlington County Finance Director Michelle Cowan, assessments for single family homes in Arlington are rising by 8%, condominiums by 5%, apartments by 0-2%, office building assessments are declining. Other sources of revenue, like the meals tax, are flat. County Government can expect a 2% to 3% revenue growth over the next several years. Given County Government's various increasing commitments, like employee healthcare, Cowan foresees a FY 16 budget gap for County Government in "single digits".

APS predicts a budget shortfall of $28.3 million in FY 16, largely caused by an unexpected increase in student enrollment. (According to APS insiders, the jump in student enrollment was the result of more than 300 refugee children from Central America being resettled in Arlington this year). The School Board, Superintendent Murphy, and APS Facilities and Operation Staff were unable or unwilling to supply the County Manager and County Board with specific data about the demographics that are driving the increase in student population. Latest projections by APS indicate Arlington's public school enrollment will grow from 24,529 in September 2014 to 32,305 in September 2024.

Various statements made by School Board members and APS Staff indicate that APS is operating a very expensive school system and is unwilling to make any changes. For example, Superintendent Murphy revealed that APS hires few inexperienced teachers and many experienced teachers who have advanced degrees. Both the School Board and Superintendent are unwilling to cut programs or increase class size. Both are unwilling to provide data which would show what it costs to educate students in various programs.

The County Board will discuss the FY 16 budget at length at the November 18th County Board meeting, agenda items 31 and 32, which are now posted on-line at arlingtonva.us.

Update - the Powerpoint presentations at the November 7th County Board / School Board joint work session are available online at:

http://budget.arlingtonva.us/budget/

Cindy

38 Comments:

At 08 November, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, of course we are told 3 days after an election where we had a clear choice for School Board - fiscal responsibility or more of the same.

 
At 08 November, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Should read -- FY 2016 and Beyond

 
At 08 November, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surprise. Architects' renderings of Reed, Wilson, TJ expansion show expensive modernist monstrosity buildings with plenty of new parking, large drop-off lots, and dedicated soccer fields for drive-your-kid-to-school soccer parents.

 
At 08 November, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Owners of single family homes and condominiums are going to be hit with a 6% to 7% annual tax increase every year for at least the next 3 years.

 
At 08 November, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

They've created / are creating a Taj Mahal school system, Taj Mahal homeless shelter, Taj Mahal dog parks, Taj Mahal sports and recreation facilities, Taj Mahal live theater (12 and counting), Taj Mahal streetcar system and so on, so what can you expect? Party's over here in Arlington, everybody !!

 
At 08 November, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Know what's appalling? Yupsters are buying and raising 2 kids in expensive 2-bedroom condos in the B-R corridor in buildings full of transient Urban Hipsters who selling drugs to their friends and selling themselves as 'escorts' to be able to afford the lifestyle and pay the rent.

 
At 08 November, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The people who are promoting "New Urbanism" in Arlington are laughing all the way to the bank...in the luxury suburban enclaves where they live that are nowhere near Arlington or any other area of "Smart Growth" redevelopment.

 
At 08 November, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do the math....778 more pre-K through 12 students every year for the next 10 years.

 
At 08 November, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

How much does APS spend now applying for various awards so APS can attract more students to an already-overcrowded school system?

 
At 08 November, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not as much as APS will spend when Barbara Kanninen is cooking APS data once she's appointed to the School Board.

 
At 09 November, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like a $35 million budget shortfall in FY 16, FY 16 and FY 18.

 
At 09 November, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

APS couldn't or wouldn't provide the costs of educating students in various programs, like special ed., ESL, and honors? Time for a new Superintendent.

 
At 09 November, 2014 , Anonymous parent said...

APS won't provide information about the refugee 'children' from Central America. Why is APS putting 13-year olds in the same classes as 9-year olds?

 
At 09 November, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a parent and I'm fed up. Adolescent refugees from Central America are a major league problem and nobody wants to do or say anything. Dozens have been suspended (or would be suspended if APS and the politicians weren't afraid of offending the Latinos) for everything from fighting to inappropriately touching younger female students. Whose idiotic idea was it to put 14-year olds and 10-year olds in the same classes in the same classrooms?

My kid is outta APS next semester. Too bad I have to max out on home equity loans to send her to private school.

 
At 10 November, 2014 , Anonymous Wakefield Parent said...

Why does APS hire veteran teachers rather than entry-level teachers? Because Arlington schools are a mess and entry-level teachers can't handle the kids.

 
At 10 November, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

One option at TJ is to build an underground parking garage and big drop-off area along with the new soccer fields.

 
At 10 November, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am really really tired of hundreds of parents driving SUVs dropping off and picking up students in my neighborhood.

Does anyone know how many school bus seats are occupied, by school?

 
At 10 November, 2014 , Anonymous Cindy said...

I was confronted with the same choice at Abingdon almost 20 years ago and I pulled my daughter out of Abingdon and enrolled her in a private school...at tremendous cost.

 
At 10 November, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

School Bus Seats for Students !!

 
At 10 November, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

No information whatsoever about this work session on the County's Web site !!

 
At 10 November, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who elected Barbara Kanninen? The local media ! Even a week after the elections they won't publish the facts - Arlington County will face at least a $100 million budget shortfall over the next three fiscal years. largely due to extravagant funding for the Arlington Public School System.

 
At 10 November, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last week Democrats stole most of Audrey Clement's campaign signs when they removed Howze's from street medians.

 
At 10 November, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll go you one better...LOCAL MEDIA ARE AS CORRUPT AS COUNTY GOVERNMENT !

 
At 11 November, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess we will have to wait until next Tuesday, when the County Board takes this up.

 
At 11 November, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Second the motion, local media are corrupt.

 
At 11 November, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Then, if the residential assessment increase isn't enough, the County Board majority can always increase the residential tax rate.

 
At 11 November, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about APS telling us how many schol bus seats are filled by students before building more million-dollar parking lots for SUV soccer parents?

 
At 12 November, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw a couple guys with a pickup truck late at night removing Clement signs while they removed Howze signs.

 
At 12 November, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone taking bets on when the CB and CM will reveal how big a tax increase hit homeowners will take next year - this Saturday or next Tuesday?

 
At 12 November, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, how much of the APS CIP will be spent building new parking lots and soccer fields for soccer parents?

 
At 12 November, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

APS is lying about budget shortfalls because Arlington County will be resettling a lot more than 300 refugee children per year over the next several years.

 
At 12 November, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anybody see ArlNow lately? And I thought the Sun Gazette was shilling for the status quo.

 
At 12 November, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE: School Bus: I know that for my kid's school, they changed the bus boundary so that fewer kids live within the "bus zone" and more live in the "walk zone", which means they get driven to school.

 
At 13 November, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

ArlNow has become a bigger shill for the status quo than the Sun Gazette.

 
At 13 November, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone care that I'm going to pay $600 more in real estate taxes next year? That's $600 that I won't be spending in the local economy.

 
At 13 November, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Appears that about 10% of the APS CIP will be spent building parking lots, parking garages, and soccer fields...that's about $45 million.

 
At 13 November, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Seats for Students'? They really mean big commissions for boutique school architects.

If I pay $600 more in taxes that's $600 less that I will have to put in a savings account for my kid's college education.

 
At 15 November, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

FY 2014 Closeout and FY 2016 projections are now on-line....Agenda Items 31 and 32 of the County Board's November 18th Agenda.

Residential real estate rate will rise 4.4%

 

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