Real Estate Tax Relief

Applications in Alexandria

The City of Alexandria is still accepting applications from residents for its Affordable Homeownership Preservation (AHOP) grant program. Qualified applicants will receive a $250 tax credit that will be applied to the real estate tax payment due Nov. 15. The application deadline is Sept. 1.

The City Council recently established the AHOP program to assist homeowners in the face of rising residential property values and the resulting increase in real estate taxes.

Application forms are available by contacting the Taxpayer Services Branch, City Hall, Room 1700, 301 King St., or by calling 703-838-4570.

City residents who meet the following requirements are strongly encouraged to apply:

* The total combined adjusted gross income of the applicant's household did not exceed $61,000 for calendar year 2003.

* The total assets of the applicant's household, excluding the value of the home, personal vehicles and assets in retirement plans, did not exceed $50,000 as of Dec. 31, 2003.

* The assessed value of the property for which the grant is requested does not exceed $362,000.

* The applicant and/or the applicant's spouse owns at least 50 percent of the property for which the grant is requested.

* The applicant must occupy the property as his/her sole residence as of Jan. 1, 2004, and throughout the year.

* There are no outstanding taxes due on the property for which the grant is being sought.

Homeowners who receive benefits from the city's Real Estate Tax Relief for the Elderly or Disabled program are not eligible for the AHOP program.

Completed applications should be mailed no later than Sept. 1 to: Revenue Division, Taxpayer Branch, PO Box 178, Alexandria, Va. 22313.

Calendar Contest

For Alexandria Pets

Alexandria pet owners have until Sept. 15 to enter their pets in the third annual "Pets of Alexandria" calendar contest.

Any pet living in the city is eligible, as are pets adopted from the Alexandria shelter but living elsewhere. The top vote getter will appear on the calendar cover; the next 12 will get their own month. All photo entries will appear somewhere in the calendar.

Voting is open to all who attend the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria's Canine Games on Oct. 9 at Chinquapin Park. Each vote costs a dollar, and the money goes toward helping homeless animals.

Entry forms are available at the Alexandria shelter, 4101 Eisenhower Ave. (703-838-4774), online at www.alexandriaanimals.org and at supporting locations such as Pro Feed in the Bradlee Center, Hydrant Dog Barkery & Boutique in Del Ray, Olde Towne School for Dogs and Poochie Playhouse in Rose Hill.

The 2004 calendar raised more than $10,000 for the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.