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Expanded Tax Relief Program Mulled by F.C. Council

(Photo: News-Press)

With 54 of the 4,592 residential parcels in the City of Falls Church currently receiving some form of tax relief for the elderly and disabled, a 1.2 percent number compared to 1.4 percent for Arlington and 2 percent for Fairfax County, the F.C. Council is mulling options for increasing its relief programs, including its possible extension to stormwater tax relief.

With no impact due until the fall, anyway, the Council asked City Manager Wyatt Shields at its work session Monday to form a working group to examine the options. City Treasurer Jody Acosta presented two options to the Council, the first to grant 100 percent relief to those in the lowest income bracket, which, she said “would give the greatest benefit to the largest group of homeowners.” The cost would be $45,000 in FY2019, with an additional $45,000 needed in FY2020, or $90,000 annually. Option Two would offer a more robust deferral program and the raising of income limits for qualification. It would offer the homeowner the ability to defer taxes at 0 percent interest.

Deferral over direct relief was favored by some Council members because it allows for the eventual payment of the taxes, thus being fairer to all taxpayers, it was noted.