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With Alexandria's residential real estate assessments up 21 percent this year, more than 100 residents, including Lonnie Rich, left, spoke at last week's public hearing on the city's proposed $471 million budget. (Jonathan Ernst - For The Washington Post)
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A Budget Battle Like No Other 
More than 100 Alexandria residents signed up to speak at last week's public hearing on the city's proposed $471 million budget for the coming year -- nearly double the number that would normally turn out for such a hearing. But this is no ordinary year, citizen activists and city officials say. With Alexandria's residential real estate assessments up 21 percent this year -- and up 77 percent over the last three years -- the city is experiencing one of its most contentious budget seasons in recent memory.

In the News
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A Lesson About the Gift of Giving: Arlington Students Try to Brighten The Holidays for Families in Need (Post, Dec. 23, 2004)

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Area Doctors Going the Extra Miles: Arlington Medical Workers Run Clinics in Honduras (Post, Dec. 9, 2004)

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