Alexandria City Council to Consider Real Estate Tax Rate of Up to 90.5 Cents for 2009

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 14, 2009    

Alexandria City Council to Consider Real Estate Tax Rate of Up to 90.5 Cents for 2009

Today, the Alexandria City Council authorized advertisement of the maximum possible real (residential and commercial) property tax rates it will consider for the 2009 calendar year. Based on Council’s actions, the base real estate tax rate could be raised by a maximum of six cents, from 84.5 cents to up to 90.5 cents per $100 assessed value. City Council will not consider an add-on real estate tax rate on non-residential commercial and industrial property, keeping its tax rate considerably lower than surrounding jurisdictions. The personal property tax rate on vehicles and business tangible property tax rates would remain unchanged.

“The City faces unprecedented fiscal challenges and must make difficult choices about our programs and services in the weeks ahead,” said Mayor William D. Euille. “Advertising higher tax rates than we may need gives us flexibility in balancing the budget. It will ensure that we have the necessary resources to continue maintaining key services and public safety, and protecting our most vulnerable populations during this difficult time.”

On February 10, Alexandria City Manager James K. Hartmann proposed a General Fund Operating Budget of $524.3 million for FY 2010 that reflected a decrease of 3.3% from the previously approved FY 2009 budget, the most dramatic decline in the City’s budget in more than 30 years.

City Council’s authorization of a potential change to the real property tax rate would result in the average residential tax bill increasing by up to $85 or 2% when compared to 2008 real estate tax rates. This compares to a decline in the average residential tax bill of $7 in 2008. The City’s real estate tax rates would be among the lowest in the Northern Virginia region, even if the maximum tax rate increase is approved.

Although the personal property tax rate on vehicles and business property tax rates would remain unchanged, vehicle owners can also expect to see their tax bills drop in 2009. A projected decline in average vehicle values this year will reduce the average household’s vehicle personal property tax bill by $66, or 23%, from last year.

The next public hearing on the budget will be held Monday, April 13 at 4 p.m. in City Council Chambers, City Hall, 301 King St. The effective real estate tax public hearing will be held on Saturday, April 18 at 9:30 a.m., also in City Council Chambers. The Operating Budget and Capital Improvement Program are scheduled for adoption on Monday, April 27 at a special legislative meeting at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers. For more information, visit and click on “FY 2010 Budget” under Quick Links on the home page.