City proposes property tax levy for 2008

ARLINGTON The Arlington City Councils public hearing on the city of Arlingtons proposed 2008 property tax levy inspired a minimum of discussion Nov. 6, paving the way for the legislative body to set the new rate by its Nov. 30 deadline.
Assistant City Administrator Kristin Banfield reminded attendees of the Nov. 5 City Council meeting that the request proposes to increase the city of Arlingtons property tax by the maximum 1 percent allowed by state law, with a proposed property tax levy of $2,180,378.
Banfield said that the property taxes help pay for police, fire and emergency medical response as well as the maintenance of parks and roads, economic development initiatives, land-use permitting and building inspections, financial services and the mayors office.
Of each tax dollar, 55 percent goes toward public safety, 12 percent funds community and economic development, another 12 percent is set aside for the citys administration, and 2 percent is reserved for its streets, Banfield said.
Of the remaining 19 percent, 6 percent goes toward finance, 6.5 percent funds parks and libraries, another 6 percent supports the citys facilities, and 0.5 percent is left over in the ending fund.
For 2007, the total assessed property value of the city of Arlington was $1,882,294,666, which resulted in a property tax collection of $2,100,395.
For 2008 the projected assessed property value would total $2,238,351,971, resulting in a property tax collection of $2,180,378 for the city to spend.
Of this collection, $48,400 will come from property taxes on new construction, while another $10,579 would draw from annexations.
The property tax rate for 2008 actually shows a slight decrease in the money set aside for general government, from $1.12 currently to a proposed $0.97 in 2008, while the EMS monies also show a marginal decrease, from $0.45 currently to a proposed $0.39 in 2008.
When applied to the cost of a $250,000 home, the 2008 general government rate adds up to $243 in taxes, while the 2008 EMS rate equals a tax of $98, totaling up to $341 in property taxes for 2008.
As the rate currently stands, Arlington has the fourth-lowest rate in Snohomish County, Banfield said, out of 19 other cities and unincorporated Snohomish County itself.
The Council will be requested to adopt resolutions for setting the 2008 property tax levy at its Nov. 19 meeting, so citizens with comments or concerns are strongly encouraged to attend that meeting.
In spite of the recent Washington Supreme Court ruling overtuning I-747, which limited property tax increases to 1 percent, Arlington City Council member Dick Butner does not expect that the City Council will seek more than a 1 percent increase.

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