Alexandria council ditches commercial property tax as it adopts new budget


The Alexandria City Council deliberated through the eleventh hour and unanimously passed a $566.9 million budget without enacting a controversial new tax on commercial properties, though officials raised the base property tax rate by 2 cents on Monday.
The budget, which takes effect July 1, is 6.6 percent larger than last fiscal year’s.

The adoption was a victory for pro-business groups like the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, whose members fought against the potential add-on tax that would have funded crucial transportation projects.

Instead, council members reserved 2.2 percent of real estate revenues for transportation purposes. The average homeowners bill will rise $107, officials said.

The Alexandria City Public Schools, consistently the largest chunk of the citys budget, will receive $7 million more than it did last year to help pay for two new elementary schools.