Home Local Politics Godawful Del. Tim Hugo (R) Bill Would Screw Arlington, Lavish Big $$$...

Godawful Del. Tim Hugo (R) Bill Would Screw Arlington, Lavish Big $$$ on Super-Rich People, Weaken Local Autonomy vs State AND Set a Horrible Precedent – VETO!


For those of you not familiar with him, Del. Tim Hugo (R-Fairfax/PW County) is a particularly slimy/odious (see Special Interests Dominate Delegate Hugo’s Finance Report, New Story by Michael Pope Highlights How Predatory Lenders “Capture” Virginia GOP Delegates Like Tim Hugo, The NRA’s Favorite Virginia General Assembly Republicans, etc.) Virginia House Republican. This past November, Hugo came super close to losing his seat (to Democrat Donte Tanner), leaving him as one of the most vulnerable Northern Virginia Republicans left standing after the 2017 blue tidal wave here in Virginia.

Given all that, you’d think that Hugo might spend his remaining time in office focused on things that help his own district, not on getting revenge against other places he’s mad at. For instance, there’s Arlington County, which Hugo wants to screw over in at least two big ways: 1) by turning I-66 into a toll road in BOTH directions, which of course would hit “reverse commuters” coming from DC, Arlington, etc.; and 2) by taking away local control even MORE from localities, in this case by forcing Arlington to lower its assessed value country clubs/golf courses for mostly VERY rich people (members pay around $70,000! per year to belong; who the heck can afford THAT other than the super-rich???). Brilliant, eh? Typical, though, for a slimy “swamp creature” like Hugo.

On the latter idiocy – truly one of the worst bills this session, by the way – what Hugo wants to do is to force Arlington to change the way it assesses the value of these golf courses’ land, in a way that will save the golf courses an estimated $1.5 million per year – and for absolutely NO GOOD REASON (and a bunch of bad ones). See Arlington County Board member Christian Dorsey talking about the potential negative impacts on Arlington’s schools and other important services of Hugo’s bill at 5:49:15 of this video (from the 2/24/18 Arlington County Board meeting). And why does Hugo want to hurt Arlington schools and other important services? Answer: to save VERY wealthy golf club owners and VERY wealthy members (again, who pay around $70,000! per year to belong) a bunch of money so they can get even wealthier? Brilliant move by the “swamp creature!”

The “arguments” (such as they are) for this godawful legislation, which believe it or not has actually passed both the House of Delegates (65-33) and State Senate (Thursday, by a 27-13 vote) – with Democrats mostly (why not ALL?!? hello???) opposed and party-of-the-wealthy Republicans UNANIMOUSLY voting “aye” – are really, really dumb, by the way. According to the bill’s proponents, Arlington County should be forced to change the way it’s been assessing the value of these golf course for decades, because supposedly the way Arlington does this is not consistent with other jurisdictions in Virginia (you ask: who cares? and why is that relevant in any way?). Of course, the fact is that Arlington County is a dense, urban(ish) county — the smallest self-governing county in the United States, actually. It’s also a county that’s right next door to the nation’s capital, with multiple Metro stops, a superb school system and other public amenities, and tons of people clamoring to live there.

Now, if you’ve taken any economics in your life, and if you didn’t sleep through it or flunk out of it, you know that with the supply of land largely fixed and the demand curve for that land constantly shifting outwards, the value of said land will continue to increase. Which is, of course, exactly what’s happened in Arlington County. In addition, if you have any understanding of economics whatsoever, you understand that the more desirable something is, the more expensive – all else being equal – it is. And again, people really want to live in Arlington, so it shouldn’t be surprising that it’s expensive to live in the “people’s republic” (and getting more expensive).

Which brings us back to the two Arlington County golf courses — Army Navy Country Club and Washington Golf & Country Club — in line here for a nice corporate welfare gift check from Tim Hugo and his merry band of plutocratic Republicans. We’ll leave aside for now the question of whether using precious, super-high-value land in a densely populated/urban(ish) county like Arlington for a golf course is a good idea (hint: that’s highly debatable, especially given the fact that the Washington Golf & Country Club has a horrible history when it comes to the environment). But given that these two golf courses/country clubs already exist in Arlington, how should they be assessed?

Option 1: assess the properties (as has been done or many, many years) based, at least in part, on what that land COULD be used for, such as possibly single-family homes going for $2 million a pop or whatever. Option 2: assess the properties (as Del. Hugo wants to do) based on the “actual physical use of the property” and don’t consider what the land would be worth if it were used in another fashion (e.g., for single-family homes). Note that Option 1 results in assessed values, and therefore taxes to Arlington County, that are a LOT higher than Option 2 (see here; apparently Hugo’s bill cuts the assessed value rate from $12 per square foot – still FAR lower than the “$99.75 per square foot for residential parcels in the North Glebe Road neighborhood” –  to just 50 cents per square foot!). Which means, again, that switching from Option 1 (which it’s been for many, many years) to Option 2 would cost Arlington a shit-ton of $$$.

Why switch now? Has anything changed drastically in recent years? For instance, have these country clubs/golf courses been socked with exorbitant tax bills? Have their assessed values skyrocketed? Nope. Nope. And nope.

See below for some information on one of the properties — Washington Golf & Country Club, Inc. at 3017 N. Glebe Road in Arlington. Note first of all that the property is zoned R-10 (One-Family Dwelling). So, again, this land could be used to build very expensive, single-family detached homes on it – and assessed/taxed accordingly. But today it’s a golf course, built back in 1958 (when Arlington County was a sleepy bedroom community with no Metro, etc.). Check out Google Maps if you’re interested in seeing what’s near this golf course — Marymount University and a bunch of single-family, detached homes all around the golf course.  So why on earth wouldn’t that land be assessed closer to R-10 (One-Family Dwelling) rates? Got me, but Del. Hugo (R-Fairfax/PW County) for some reason wants to FORCE Arlington to change the way it’s handled this property for many years by slashing the assessed values of these properties by over 90%. For no good reason, either, other than to give a massive tax break to super-rich people.

Also see below for a history of the golf club’s assessed value and tax payments. Note that the assessed value today, at around $77 million, is almost exactly 10% higher than it was in 2008 ($70 million). So no big change there…pretty slow appreciation, actually, given how well Arlington real estate has been doing in recent years. As for the club’s tax payments, there appears to be a big bump between 2015 and 2016, but I’m told that in 2016, the club’s assessment climbed by $16 million over 2015 — likely as a result of the precipitously rising value of residential-zoned land in that part of the country during that time — but then the golf club appealed to the Board of Equalization, which adjusted their assessment down to just $1m over the previous year. Nice, huh? Seriously, though, this is actually a great illustration of the fact that there is a process available to the golf clubs (or any property owner that believes they are being unfairly assessed). The Board of Equalization already delivered them “relief” from a higher assessment. So it is totally disingenuous for any member of the General Assembly, such as the cynical, dishonest Tim Hugo, to imply that Arlington’s country clubs had “no other option” than to seek legislative action in Richmond. That’s simply, wildly false.

Also see below for a comparison of the Arlington golf courses’ assessed values and taxes paid to others in the region. Note that Arlington’s golf courses pay more in taxes, not surprisingly, because they are assessed higher than golf clubs in other jurisdictions. There’s NOTHING nefarious about that, but simply the fact that land is worth a LOT more in Arlington than it is in some of the other places, and because Arlington COULD use this land for single-family homes as an alternative to the country clubs.  And given those higher assessments – still well below what they WOULD be assessed at if they were single-family homes, by the way – they naturally pay more in taxes. And the problem here is????

Finally, see below for an action alert from the Virginia Municipal League, which urges OPPOSITION to this “unfunded state mandate,” warning that: a) this bill “trespasses on long-standing state policy recognizing that these local assessment decisions rest with localities”; b) “The state will not make up for lost tax dollars”; and c) “The state already has a process to appeal assessments. Taxpayers can appeal to the assessor or Commissioner of the Revenue, the locality’s Board of Equalization, and the relevant Circuit Court. And, this process should be followed first before legislative action.”

Last but certainly not least, the problem with this bill is that it sets a HORRIBLE precedent for the future. In short, if the Virginia General Assembly can heavy-handedly intervene with one Virginia locality to force it to change the way they make assessments for certain types of businesses, they can do the same to ANY locality for ANY type of business. What next, restaurants don’t like the way they’re assessed? shopping malls? jewelry stores? Is Del. Hugo going to rush to their rescue next? What’s to stop him if he can do it in this case? Got me, but the bottom line is that this is Dillon Rule run amok, and it should be completely unacceptable to anyone who values localities being able to maintain some decision making authority vs. the state.

Gov. Ralph Northam, the choice is clear: VETO THIS GODAWFUL BILL!  Thank you.

  • John Doe

    OK. I see that you are upset, but I would disagree with much of your article. A few quick points. Army Navy is not a rich man’s club. The bill passed by large bipartisan supermajorities in both houses because what Arlington is doing is unfair, albeit legal. Other country clubs around the DC metro area and Virginia are taxed based on the income or use approach, not the cost approach that Arlington uses. And, Army Navy moved forward on the bill because with an average 6-7% growth rate since 1997, its taxes were on an unsustainable path. Let me take each in turn.

    Since 1924, Army Navy has been devoted to those who have served the nation through military service. Of the Club’s 7,200 members, almost 75% are active duty, retired, or former military officers. While true that a very few civilians join each year at the market rate, currently $72,000, the military officers do not pay anywhere near that amount. An Army Captain, with 12 years of service, pays an initiation fee of $3,500. Newly commissioned officers join for free. Only 5% or so of the membership joined as civilian members. The other 20% joined as sons and daughters of the military and that comes with an initiation fee of $10,000, if under the age of 29. So, the idea that the Army Navy membership is wealthy or exclusive is somewhat absurd. Anybody that has lived in Arlington for more than 15 minutes knows better.

    The bill passed the House with an official vote of 65-33-1, but after considering two errors, the vote was really 67-32-1. In the Senate, the vote was 27-13. In both cases, there were large bipartisan majorities. Do you really think that a bill could achieve supermajorities in both houses if it were as unfair as you think it is?

    What is missing from the Arlington County talking points is that since 1960 the Arlington County Board has declared that Army Navy’s property should forever more be used as open space, but the County Board opted out of the open space tax ordinance. So, Arlington wants the land used as open space, but wants to tax it as if it is not. That’s not fair.

    Next, the whole thing about the land in Arlington being worth more is really a red herring given that the property is listed as open space on the master plan. In any case, every other country club in the DC metro area and in Virginia is taxed using the income approach. Thus, while Army Navy pays $1.6 million in taxes, Trump National pays $266,000, Bellehaven pays $233,000, River Bend pays $203,000, Westwood pays $178,000 and Congressional pays $168,000. The other clubs pay the same or less. So, unless your point is that you want to pick Army Navy out for special treatment to tax it out of existence, then it should be taxed fairly like everyone else.

    As for the idea that Army Navy is some exclusive preserve, that is sort of accurate, but not entirely. Army Navy allows more than 10 local high schools and colleges to play its courses for both practices and matches, totally free of charge, including Washington & Lee, Wakefield and TC Williams. We also permit free or subsidized tournaments for various charities and organizations such as the Yellow Ribbon Fund for disabled veterans, and for the local police and fire organizations. Thus, if you were going to single out some country club to tax out of existence, it would not be Army Navy.
    So, why now? To say that Army Navy has been happy with these taxes all these years would not be accurate. But, if you run the math out, in 2013, the taxes were expected to double in ten years. This was unsustainable. So, Army Navy began a campaign to change the tax methodology. Arlington County refused. A County Board member stated that the County Board could do nothing about it. So, legislation was the only possible result.
    Why not let the whole thing play out in the courts? Because the Courts cannot possibly grant the relief requested by the Clubs. In Army Navy’s case, for the 2014 tax year, Army Navy contends that the land is worth approximately $79 million or so under the so-called market approach, namely what would a developer pay for raw land, and the buildings at zero because the buildings would all have to be torn down to maximize the land value. The County assessed the land at $103 million and the buildings at $30 million. Army Navy has already won a lawsuit on whether it can be double-charged for the buildings against Fairfax City. Thus, the only real issue in the 2014 case is whether the assessment should be $79 million, $103 million, or something in between. Rather than try to work this out, the County adopted a “go pound sand” attitude. Had the County compromised then, there probably never would have been a bill.
    The bill reduces the tax value to the income approach, which would reduce the assessment to something around $20 million. In other words, Army Navy will be paying the taxes paid by similar clubs. This is fair. The lawsuit could never achieve this, so the litigation and the bill have nothing in common.
    Once the bill got moving, some in the Arlington delegation put bayonets into the backs of the County Board and demanded they work this out with the Clubs. The Clubs were eager to work it out. The County Board never took either the Clubs or the Arlington delegation seriously. In fact, the County Board made the Arlington delegation look foolish in front of their colleagues in Richmond. Why would you suppose the Arlington delegation will work the Governor hard to veto the bill?
    The fact that we are now here also demonstrates that the County Board is tone deaf. The County tried to sell the General Assembly that Army Navy is a rich man’s club. They knew differently. The Governor is a former Army officer. I’m sure he knows differently too. The County tried to sell the General Assembly that the whole matter should be passed as it was in litigation. Yet, the General Assembly knew this was a hoax and one Democratic Senator actually called them on it during yesterday’s debate. The County tried to sell the General Assembly that it was trying to negotiate with the Clubs. The General Assembly knew that it was stalling. The County tried to sell the General Assembly that it was taxing Army Navy fairly. You just have to take a look at the list of country clubs in the DC metro area and the amount of taxes that they pay to know differently. I’m sure the Governor can read as well.
    Now, if you want to abolish all country clubs that is one thing. But, unless you want to pick one of them out for special unfair treatment, then the bill makes all the sense in the world. This argument convinced bipartisan supermajorities in the House and Senate. I don’t know why it wouldn’t convince the Governor too.

    • Jay_Teigh

      A friend who is in the military contacted the Army Navy Club to request their dues rates. The lowest was a temporary rate of $7,000. I don’t care what the “initiation fee” is, with annual dues of $7,000 or more, no enlisted person supporting a kid or two can afford that unless they have some sources of wealth.

      • John Doe

        Then your friend is a liar or over the age of 36.

    • Jay_Teigh

      Perhaps, to cut costs, the golf clubs could reduce expenses. I heard they are paying a greenskeeper $250K or so per year. Surely they could find someone to do the job for $100K per year? If the two clubs together are paying a million per year more than they want to in taxes, just five changes like that for each club would offset the amount they don’t want to pay the county.

      • Sure, but that’s up to them; shouldn’t be a problem shoved onto Arlington taxpayers, teachers, etc.

        • Jay_Teigh

          Agreed. Arlington County is the smallest geographic county in Virginia. It only 26 square miles. Land is at a premium and residents are acutely feeling the effects of this issue. The clubs are taxed at approximately $12 per square foot compared to $72 and $99.75 per sq. foot for residences in these two locations. The tax rate is already far better than homeowners pay. Arlington currently has a projected $19 million budget deficit. Senior services are slated to be cut, and schools are overcrowded. Lowering taxes for golf clubs which already pay 7 to 9 times less in taxes per square foot than average homeowners is not in the budget.

          • Why exactly aren’t the country clubs taxed at $72/$99.75 per sq. foot? Maybe something to consider…

          • John Doe

            Arlington’s budget is $1.25 billion. The Clubs are taxed several times every other club in the DC metro area and in the state. It is your client’s refusal to consider fairness that has put it in this situation.

          • Ashton Heights

            The golf clubs had enough money to hire a lobbyist! We citizens who could never afford $70K/year dues much less a fat cat lobbyist are trying to keep the schools budget intact.

            Country clubs that already get a tax break compared to nearby homeowners are not on my sympathy list.

          • John Doe

            That’s why Arlington County hired the most expensive lobbyists in Richmond, Kempton Consulting, along with the top PR Firm, Capital Results. Please. And, the dues are $3,600/year for the military under age 36. Newly commissioned officers join for free. It costs $5,000 per year to be a “member” of the Fairfax County public courses. Why don’t you pay Mark Schwarz less than $500,000 per year and save some money.

      • John Doe

        According to the 2016 Form 990, Army Navy’s greenskeeper made $137,000. He doesn’t get a pension. According to Arlington magazine, in 2015, Arlington’s County Manager Mark Schwarz made $244,000, and he gets a pension! Fire Department Lieutenant DJ made $197,935, and he gets a pension! Jeez, I just hope the greenskeeper doesn’t get on the gravy train on the Arlington County payroll.

  • Harry

    Tim “Dumpster Diver” Hugo, you say why dumpster diver? Well as you may know Tim uses his campaign funds to buy his household groceries so Dominion and the NRA buys his groceries, without the campaign funds Tim would need to resort to dumpster diving for scraps of food to keep his rotund body going. In any event Tim will be gone for the 2020 session you can bet the ranch on it.

  • woodrowfan

    FYI< Washington Golf is much older than the 1950s. They got their original land from Admiral Rixey (who owned the land Marymount is on). Woodrow Wilson played golf there, precisely because it was much LESS snooty and exclusive than the then-existing clubs in DC.

  • woodrowfan

    Hugo is scum, but I am not so sure the current taxation isn’t unfair. How did the other delegates from northern Va vote?

    • HB 1204 Real property tax; special and separate assessment of open space in certain counties.

      floor: 02/13/18 House: VOTE: PASSAGE (65-Y 33-N 1-A)
      YEAS–Adams, D.M., Adams, L.R., Aird, Austin, Bagby, Bell, Richard P., Bell, Robert B., Bloxom, Bourne, Brewer, Byron, Campbell, Cline, Cole, Collins, Davis, Edmunds, Fariss, Filler-Corn, Fowler, Freitas, Garrett, Gilbert, Habeeb, Hayes, Head, Helsel, Heretick, Hodges, Hugo, Ingram, James, Jones, J.C., Jones, S.C., Keam, Kilgore, Knight, Krizek, Landes, LaRock, Leftwich, Marshall, McGuire, Miyares, Morefield, O’Quinn, Orrock, Peace, Pillion, Pogge, Poindexter, Ransone, Robinson, Rush, Stolle, Thomas, Torian, VanValkenburg, Ware, Watts, Webert, Wilt, Wright, Yancey, Mr. Speaker–65.

      NAYS–Bell, John J., Boysko, Bulova, Carr, Carroll Foy, Carter, Convirs-Fowler, Delaney, Gooditis, Guzman, Herring, Hope, Hurst, Kory, Levine, Lindsey, Lopez, McQuinn, Mullin, Plum, Price, Rasoul, Reid, Rodman, Roem, Sickles, Simon, Sullivan, Toscano, Tran, Turpin, Tyler, Ward–33.

      • HB 1204 Real property tax; special and separate assessment of open space in certain counties.
        log in | tally sheet
        floor: 03/01/18 Senate: Passed Senate with amendment (27-Y 13-N)
        YEAS–Black, Carrico, Chafin, Chase, Cosgrove, Dance, Deeds, DeSteph, Dunnavant, Lewis, Marsden, McDougle, Newman, Norment, Obenshain, Peake, Petersen, Reeves, Ruff, Spruill, Stanley, Stuart, Sturtevant, Suetterlein, Surovell, Vogel, Wagner–27.

        NAYS–Barker, Ebbin, Edwards, Favola, Hanger, Howell, Locke, Lucas, Mason, McClellan, McPike, Saslaw, Wexton–13.

        RULE 36–0.

        NOT VOTING–0.

      • Jay_Teigh

        More of the Ds voted against the bill the second time it came through their chamber. The bill was worded so confusingly, it successfully hid its true impact until NoVA residents got wind of it and described the real impact to the other NoVA delegates. (Aside from the golfers, almost every resident of Arlington is opposed to it – the county’s budget is currently underwater due in part to trying to relieve a massive school overcrowding situation; handouts for the wealthy were not in the budget). The head of the school board has written in to oppose the bill, as well as the head of the county board, and tons of citizens.

        • John Doe

          You must be from Arlington’s PR firm Capital Results. The House Dems were not confused about what the bill meant. They voted against the bill the second time because their votes were not needed, and it was easier to give Lopez a vote when it didn’t matter. All of the residents of Arlington County are not against the bill. There are plenty of residents who live around the Clubs that value them, and who aren’t taking the County’s side. The County’s budget is $1.25 billion. Taxing the clubs fairly won’t break the county’s budget. You are simply arguing that the County should continue to be allowed to tax the clubs unfairly. That’s just not fair.

          • Ashton Heights

            I am not from a PR firm, nor am I among those who live next to the country club. I am a longtime Arlington citizen with kids in our public schools. The schools need funds to keep up with the overcrowding caused by population growth in our little county. I saw that the head of the school board, among others, has written to ask the Governor for a veto.

    • dave schutz

      Jeez, I’m sure Hugo is nice to children and small animals and probably keeps his garden tidy. A much nicer guy than was, for example, Woodrow Wilson…

      He is sort of the go-to guy for people who want to make Arlington do something it doesn’t want to. I think he was quite right that the ‘second-signature’ requirement for tows was bad policy and anti- business, and I think we deserved to lose on that one. He’s also making a lot of noise about Arlington reverse commuters getting a free ride on 66 tolls. I don’t think his claimed motivation is very seemly, but I do think we will get better utilization of this staggeringly expensive resource which is 66 if it is tolled. So I’m nowhere near as hostile to him as you are.

  • Quizzical

    Of course these country clubs are for the wealthy — including the Army Navy Club. The initiation fees speak for themselves, including the example of $10,000 for an O-3 with 12 years of service.

    A newly commissioned officer may be able to join the Army Navy Club without an initiation fee, if that officer is willing and able to carry the annual membership dues for many years until he or she is assigned to duty in the DC area. Think about it — who would do that? Maybe someone whose family already belongs to the club.

    I don’t begrudge military officers the opportunities to enjoy life. To paraphrase a speech I heard from the Commandant of the Marine Corps when I was on active duty, it’s OK to have fun sometimes, because there are going to be other times which are not fun. That says it all.

    The only question at this point is whether Gov. Northam would veto this bill. My guess is no, he will not. Even though the Army Navy Club has wrapped itself in the flag, and the other country club is taking cover behind it, he’s not going to do something that will even look like he is hurting the military. Apart from that, It wouldn’t be a cost free veto for him – a lot of wealthy, influential people belong to these two country clubs. I don’t think Northam is going to want to use his veto pen freely at this point of his term, especially when he is trying to get something done on healthcare. But we’ll see.

    Arlington is going to have to raise its property taxes, or do something else, to make up the shortfall in tax revenues.

    • Northam needs to veto this godawful bill. We all should contact him and let him know that.

      • dave schutz
        • John Doe

          The basic model of every club is dues. Bottom line, Members pay dues primarily to play golf. Without golf, I don’t think the rest of the operation could survive. So, if you did away with golf, then you’d probably have nothing, except vacant buildings.

      • Quizzical

        Well, if the two country clubs each pay, say, 80% less in property taxes, what are they going to spend the money on?

        • dave schutz

          I don’t know about these two clubs, but nationally golf is in big trouble. There was what now looks like a short term blip when Tiger Woods burst onto the national consciousness, but except for that effect it’s been a gradual decline for decades. Life in the executive suites is more challenging than it was, fewer execs have a half day to go to the links. The economics are bad – it’s intrinsically expensive. They run about six groups an hour through a seventy-five acre course, that’s about 200 people using seventy-five acres in a day. That’s hugely fewer than can use seventy-five acres if it’s baseball or football or soccer. Groups at many courses pay 30-80 dollars to play – not a lot to both maintain the course, support the office, etc. So I think it’s perfectly possible that these courses are not doing all that well, and that this move – which has substantially angered their hosts, not a smart thing to do if you don’t have to – is not being made from strength. So, what will they spend the money on? Greens keeping, maybe lowering the jaw dropping fees they charge their members.
          John Doe, you want to weigh in? I have never played golf and am somewhat hostile to it, you clearly are pro golf.

          • John Doe

            Actually, I rarely play golf. If the Governor signed the bill, I think we would fight over what to do with the money.

  • James McCarthy

    We the public taxpayers already subsidize these two not for profit clubs by way of the 501(c) 3 provision. Also, VA subsidizes the clubs via exemptions from sale taxes on purchases. 207,000 Arlington residents are now forced to absorb $1.5 Million in lost tax revenue for the 7200 club members.

    The Dillon rule was also used against Arlington in 1956 when its school board announced a phased integration plan while the rest of VA engaged in massive resistance. The board’s elective status was nullified. Hugo’s bill is equally violent. It’s time for the GA to adopt some federalist principle to modify the Dillon rule.

    • dave schutz

      If you hold your breath waiting, you will turn blue. There are a lot of people in Richmond who are not friends of our People’s Republic of Arlington…

      • What I want is for Gov. Northam to veto the bill and for the General Assembly to not override that veto. Not too much to ask…

        • DCStrangler

          Shit in one hand, wish in the other, and see which one fills up first. Northam isn’t likely to veto something he knows will be overridden. There is no percentage in that. Likewise, why would anyone change their votes? Insofar that their original vote can already be used against them, changing won’t help them.

      • James McCarthy

        TY for the sparky observation full of nothing even sound. In the meantime I took the time to contact the Governor’s office urging a veto. Whoever the non-friends of Arlington in Richmond are is of no interest or consequence to me as is a comment about turning blue.

    • Jim

      ANCC and Washington Golf are 501(c)7) non-profits so they do not pay income tax on dues. They are not exempt from sales tax. Annual dues are about $6,500. Also, Arlington’s budget is over $2.5 BILLION. What is a million is all of that?

      • James McCarthy

        Not correct!! The IRS not for profit exemption is for enterprises whose purpose is charitable and/or social, i.e. not formed to make a profit although they can without paying income tax. The gross revenue is not relevant nor is the dues amount.

        Secondly, Virginia law authorizes sales tax exemptions for not for profits. dis.virginia.gov/commissions/tax/files/report. It the clubs have not availed themselves of this exemption, they should do so as it will increase the net of income over expenses.

  • Check out this amendment on Hugo’s “screw Arlington” bill. As one Arlington politico emailed me: “So, it appears the bill was amended in the Senate to EXEMPT Loudoun County’s golf course(s) and will now be sent back to the House of Delegates on March 5 for further action. You read that correctly. This bill was modified in the Senate to make certain it targeted Arlington and Arlington only. Arlington citizens need to light a bonfire under the butts of our delegates so they make a robust case to kill this bill in the HOD. It’s our last chance before it reaches the Governor’s desk. ”


    • Quizzical

      I don’t get the amendment. Did it change the population growth parameter? In the draft bill, I don’t see the “five” that was deleted.

      • It says in the original bill, “B. Whenever real property is assessed or reassessed in any county described in subsection A, the commissioner of the revenue or other assessing official shall, at the request of the property owner, determine fair market value by specially and separately assessing any real estate devoted to open-space use, as defined in § 58.1-3230, that contains at least five acres. “

        • Quizzical

          So by increasing it to 20 acres, that exempts Loudoun County’s golf courses?

          • I’m not 100% sure exactly what the 20 acres vs. the 5 acres pertains to, but I was told that it increases the specificity of targeting Arlington’s clubs…

  • DCStrangler

    Anyone have a link to the video of the debate?