The Alexandria City Council passed a $728 million operating fund budget Thursday night in a series of 6-1 votes, agreeing to a 5.7 cent increase in property taxes as well as new and increased fees.
The tax rate, set at $1.13 per $100 assessed value means that an average homeowner will see taxes go up by $356 and an average $103 more for stormwater, sewer and refuse fees. Alexandria will now match Fairfax County as the highest base tax rate in northern Virginia, although add-on taxes in Fairfax and Prince William counties make their total residential tax bills higher.
Alexandria officials said the tax increase was necessary because of aging schools that are coping with increased enrollment, years of underfunding infrastructure needs such as sewers, and higher costs of Metro.
Mayor Allison Silberberg (D) voted against the budget and tax rate, arguing that tax increase was too much at one time. But other council members pushed back, responding that they prioritized capital investment and schools, which will get $7.5 million more than last year.