ARLINGTON, Va. (WUSA) — There is a tax fight going on in Arlington County, but this one is focused on golf courses.
This year, state lawmakers made a change into how two of the county’s country clubs will be taxed. That change will cost Arlington millions in their budget.
The man behind the bill said the tax rate was incredibly unfair.
There are two golf courses tax bill focused on: Washington Golf and Country Club and the Army Navy Country Club. Combined they bring in more than $2 million in taxes to Arlington County.
Fairfax County delegate Tim Hugo believes that is unfair.
“Those two golf courses in Arlington, the tax they pay equals the taxes of the next 11 golf courses in Northern Virginia,” Hugo explained.
The argument for the higher tax rate is this: the two courses sit on prime real estate in one of the most expensive counties in America.
“So it is assessed as the potential to develop the land,” Arlington County board chair Katie Cristol said.
This year a bill sponsored by Delegate Hugo changed the assessment to what the standard of the other golf courses.
“The business community supports it, the military supports it, and hopefully Governor Northam supports it,” Hugo said.
In Arlington County, they are asking the governor to veto the bill. It has the potential to scrape $1.5 million out of the county’s roughly $1 billion budget.
“What that money will pay for, if the governor vetoes it, is seven school counselors,” Cristol said.
Governor Northam has this week to make that decision. Are the Arlington courses taxed unfairly or is that the price of land in Arlington?