Death and taxes, that is, no matter the changes in property values.
From the Washington Post:
"Arlington County residents would face higher taxes and fees and reduced services under a budget proposal released by county officials yesterday.
County Manager Ron Carlee proposed a $924.6 million spending plan for the coming fiscal year that would increase the real estate tax rate by 2 cents, institute a 1.4-cent sanitary district tax to pay for storm water improvements and raise the commercial property tax rate by 12.5 cents to pay for road improvements. The average homeowner's tax would increase by $126, with the bill rising to $4,523 from $4,397, officials said".
"Prince William faces a major drop in revenue because of the nose dive in the housing market. The county's problems are magnified by the large number of foreclosures, which has contributed to a 16 percent decrease in residential property values.
After cutting spending by about $19 million, officials said, the county wants to increase the [property] tax rate. The tax rate, 78.7 cents for each $100 of assessed value, would rise to $1.01 under Gerhart's proposal. He said the average tax bill would rise 8 percent.
Board of County Supervisors Chairman Corey A. Stewart (R) said he could support a budget that trims $10 million more and keeps residential tax bills flat. Officials said that because of the decrease in property values, the tax rate could rise as much as 19 percent without increasing tax bills. The budget year starts July 1".
"Fairfax is among the first localities in Northern Virginia to reveal in detail just how seriously declining home values and consumer spending will affect government services. After years of booming growth, the county is projecting a decline in residential property values of 3 percent -- and a decline in revenue for the first time since the 1992 recession. . . .Also see Around the Neighborhoods for DC: it shows percent changes in assessment value from 2008 to 2009.
'The residential real estate market is continuing to go south,' [County Executive Anthony H.] Griffin told the county Board of Supervisors. 'It hasn't hit bottom yet. It may be calendar 2010 or calendar 2011 before it does.'
As a result, he said, prudence must be the county's response. His proposed $3.3 billion spending plan would keep the property tax rate at 89 cents for each $100 of assessed value, producing a tax bill of $4,450 for a $500,000 home. It would cut scheduled pay raises in half for county workers and fund virtually no new programs. That includes Fairfax's school system, which requested, but did not get, a 4 percent increase".