Wednesday, February 09, 2005

'Cause I'm the tax man .. yea-ah the tax ma-an

Alexandria city officials have announced that real estate assessments ( are up 21% over the past year.

"The unprecedented increase in Alexandria home values is attributable to low interest rates, continued job growth in the region and the city's desirable location close to Washington, city officials said."
And they have supporting data for that conclusion. Broadly, assessments rose 70-75% across Fairfax County in 2000-2004, but 100% or more in Arlington and Alexandria (a jaw-dropping 158-161% in the are surrounding Columbia Pike)

Interestingly, most of the areas with the biggest increases seem to be the ones seeing the most new development or redevelopment, especially the outer ring areas of Fairfax, Eisenhower Ave corridor in Alexandria and the aforementioned Columbia Pike corridor in southeast Arlington. To my mind, that tends to support the notion that the region has a fundamental housing shortage. Homebuyers are flocking to -and bidding up- the places that have some inventory of housing to sell. And of course all that bidding up means a lot of people -including the tax man- will be hiding in the bathroom the day those bills go out.
"While all of this is good news for homeowners, the bad news is that we'll all . . . be paying an increase in property taxes," Euille said. "We don't want to force anyone out of Alexandria because they can't afford to pay the taxes on their property. That is of concern. What we're trying to do is determine a tax rate reduction that is reasonable."
Of course, someone at MI saw this coming...