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Vienna tax bills to rise even as rate again stays the same

Increasing assessments will help fund increases in town budget

Vienna homeowners, on average, have to pony up an additional $135 because of rising property assessments, but the town’s real-estate tax rate will stay the same this year.

The Vienna Town Council on April 29 unanimously agreed to keep that rate steady at 19.5 cents per $100 assessed valuation. The decision, to be adopted formally May 20, marked the 12th straight year in which the town either decreased the tax rate or kept it the same.

“The town manager’s philosophy is to propose a tax rate that can be sustained, that is not lowered one year and raised the next year, and that can maintain a rainy-day fund of 18 percent of next year’s budget,” said Finance Director Marion Serfass.

The Council complimented Town Manager Mercury Payton and town staff for maintaining stable, sustainable budgets from year to year that minimize tax hikes for residents.

“Generally, this town has been very good in the last several years . . . of keeping, basically, the net tax increase in line with the rate of inflation,” said Council member Charles Anderson.

“I don’t know of another jurisdiction in the commonwealth that has been able to hold the line on real-estate tax rates – certainly not Fairfax County and not any of our local colleagues,” added Council member Roy Baldwin.