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Arlington Property Values Back On The Rise

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County administrators aren't yet sure what rising property values means for next year's property taxes.

Last year, average property values in Arlington dropped by more than 7 percent -- the first drop in 15 years.

Today Arlington's Management and Finance director, Michelle Cowan, told a different story for 2011 assessments: an average increase in value of 6.3 percent.

"When we developed our original planning numbers, we were anticipating an increase of around 1 percent" Cowan says. "So 6.3 percent is good news."

The biggest gains come in the commercial sector, which saw a 12 percent jump in average values. Cowan says it's a sign that the credit market is opening up, allowing more properties to be bought and sold, pushing values up. But she doesn't expect the same numbers next year.

"I don't expect that we're seeing in the commercial sector 12 percent increases every year. We expect that they would moderate," she says.

At the county's current tax rate, the average Arlington homeowner with a $510,000 home would pay $67 more, and overall the county would take in $30 million more revenue dollars.

But County Manager Barbara Donnellan still has a month to craft her budget proposal for the 2012 fiscal year, so all that could change.

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