Arlington County issued the following press release on January 15, 2016. Most of us can expect to see a slight uptick in our assessments and hence a slight increase in our taxes. No one likes taxes, but everyone likes their home value to increase so try to smile when you pay up.
Arlington 2016 Property Values Increase Modestly
- Overall increase of 2.8%
- Average residential property up 2.8%, to $603,500
- Commercial values slightly positive
- Assessments available online 11 p.m. tonight
Arlington County real estate assessments for 2016 show an overall increase in property values of 2.8 percent over 2015. Residential and commercial property values increased slightly.
The value of the average Arlington residence (existing single-family properties, including condominiums, townhouses and detached homes), increased 2.8 percent from $587,100 in Calendar Year (CY) 2015 to $603,500 in CY 2016. New construction value was up 0.7 percent, and existing real estate value was up 2.1 percent.
“Arlington’s real estate market remains solid,” said Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz. “We see strength in both our residential market and commercial properties, particularly new construction. This is the best evidence that Arlington remains a very desirable place to live and do business.”
Real estate assessments will be mailed today to all Arlington property owners. Calendar Year (CY) 2016 assessment information also will be available online at 11 p.m. tonight. Look up your property assessment.
The commercial tax base, which includes office buildings, apartments, hotels, and retail, increased 1.3 percent over CY 2015 for existing properties.
Existing office property values increased 2.2 percent, due in part to a stabilizing office vacancy rate. Apartments, which represent just over 40 percent of the commercial tax base, increased in value almost 5 percent, with half of this growth from new construction. Values of general commercial property (which includes various types of retail) declined 3.5 percent, due in large part to redevelopment and to general commercial properties becoming commercial office space.
As the County develops its Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Budget, the challenge is to balance investment needs – including strategic investments necessary to enhance Arlington’s economic competitiveness, respond to growth in school enrollment, and meet other core service demands — with the need to minimize the burden on County taxpayers.
The Board gave the County Manager budget guidance in November 2015 for the FY 2017 Budget. At that time, tax revenues were projected to increase from 1.9 percent to 2.4 percent, and there was a projected combined County and School gap of approximately $15 million. With slightly higher real estate assessments, additional funding can be considered by the County Board during the FY 2017 budget process to address County and School needs.
The County’s single largest cost is funding the Arlington Public School (APS) system. For FY 2016, the County’s funding of Schools is 46.5 percent of all local tax revenue and an investment of more than $18,000 per student. Continued year-over-year growth in school enrollment has led to the need to expand some School facilities and build new ones. Educational costs also have risen.
Both the County and Schools have prioritized needs and made funding decisions over the last several years during lean financial times. The County and Schools will work with the community to balance their priorities within this year’s fiscal constraints. The County Manager and School Superintendent will present their proposed budgets to the County Board and School Board in late February. The County Board will set the real estate tax rate in April.
For more information on the budget process, visit the County’s Budget web page.
About real estate assessments
Real estate assessments are appraisals — the County’s opinions of value for each parcel of real property in Arlington. Assessments are made according to accepted methods, techniques, and standards of the real estate appraisal and assessment profession. The 2016 assessment is an estimate of the fair market value as of January 1, 2016.
Residential assessments were based primarily on neighborhood sales occurring July 1, 2014 through August 31, 2015. The real estate tax rate determines the amount of tax that is levied on the property. A uniform tax rate for all real property is set by the Arlington County Board. State code requires the County Board to use a uniform tax rate. In addition, Arlington levies additional taxes on commercial and industrial properties dedicated to transportation investments, as well as taxes for business improvement and sanitary sewer needs.
For more information, visit the County website and search “real estate assessment.”