Alexandria’s revenue tax is growing, but too sluggishly to keep pace with the expenditures — leading to a $17 million shortfall as the city heads into budget season.
That estimate, from Mayor Justin Wilson’s monthly newsletter, is slightly lower than the estimate from a City Council meeting in November, but still presents a substantial challenge for city leadership attempting hold off on a tax rate increase.
Wilson said Alexandria’s budget is built around real estate taxes, which are growing but with some worrying signs.
“In Virginia, the structure of municipal finance is heavily reliant on real estate taxes,” Wilson wrote. “Consequentially, in Alexandria the real estate market, both residential and commercial, dictates our budgetary fate. Last year, we saw the healthiest growth in our real estate tax base in over 15 years. Yet, in the past year, mortgage rates have more than doubled. It’s hard to imagine that such an increase will not eventually impact our real estate market.”
Real estate tax revenue is projected to increase by 1.2% — which Wilson called a “return to the anemic growth that characterized much of the last decade and a half.”
Wilson said residential taxpayers are already paying more due to appreciation in the residential tax base, and adding a tax rate increase on top of that would add an even greater burden to local residents.
“I believe we should again work to avoid a rate increase while protecting the core services our residents depend on,” Wilson wrote. “Last year was the 6th budget in a row without a tax rate increase and I am hopeful we can continue that pattern.”
And yet, the city will have to find a way to close the $16.1 million shortfall. That shortfall is mostly attributed to an increase in city operations, the annual transfer to Alexandria City Public Schools and city debt service.
“With these revenue estimates and expenditure estimates, this brings us to a projected revenue shortfall of $16.1 million,” Wilson wrote. “Given that our local budget must be balanced, that shortfall must be resolved with either spending reductions, tax increases or some combination of the two.”
City Manager Jim Parajon, who warned City Council last month that “the budget is going to be tight,” is scheduled to present a budget to Council on Feb. 28.
This past week saw 33 homes sold in Alexandria. The least expensive condo, single-family home or townhouse sale over the past seven days was $120,000 while the most expensive was…
Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) is looking for suggestions from the public on how it should update its Student Code of Conduct. The Student Code of Conduct — an 83-page…
Chadwicks (203 Strand Street) is about to get really busy. From now until mid-August, it’s the strong season for the unpretentious Old Town staple that has graced the Alexandria waterfront…
Potomac Yard’s microbrewery Hops Grill and Brewery didn’t live to see the new Potomac Yard Metro station open, but the Washington Business Journal reported the location at 3625 Richmond Highway…
Are you seeking a confidential space where you can explore your emotions, overcome challenges, and find inner peace? Look no further than our dedicated psychotherapy service! We understand that life can be overwhelming at times, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.
At Peaceful Mind Solutions, our passion lies in helping individuals like you navigate life’s complexities and find the strength to thrive. Our skilled and compassionate therapist is committed to creating a warm, non-judgmental environment where you can express your thoughts and feelings openly. With our personalized approach, we tailor each session to address your unique needs and empower you to overcome obstacles.
Through evidence-based techniques and a deep understanding of the human mind, our therapist will guide you on a transformative journey of self-discovery. Whether you’re dealing with anxiety, depression, relationship issues, or simply seeking personal growth, we’re here to provide guidance and practical tools for lasting change.
Time flies when you’re having fun! The T.C. Williams High School Class of 1973 will hold its 50th reunion July 21-23, 2023 in Alexandria. All graduates and their adult nears and dears are welcome. Events include a Friday evening icebreaker, Saturday dinner dance, and a Sunday brunch. For more information: tcwilliams73.com, 770.789.3534.
Spring Fling at Rising Sol Yoga School
Join us for a day of FREE hot yoga. Experience our class styles and meet our teachers. Buy a bite at the Bake Sale to benefit The Carpenter’s Shelter, peruse some special vendors, take advantage of in-person only discounts on