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The Arlington Country Clubs Tim Hugo Wants to Help Are Doing Just Fine, Thank You Very Much!

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Arlington-hating Del. Tim Hugo (R) really really wants to help out a couple country clubs/golf courses in Arlington, by screwing residents of Arlington out of $1.5 million per year in tax revenue. Why? Hard to say, as these clubs are profitable, while their officers make a shit-ton of $$$. See below for recent, publicly available reports on Washington Golf & Country Club and the Army-Navy Country Club. It’s kinda hard to feel sorry for wealthy country clubs (total assets at Washington Golf & Country Club = $37 million) that pay their “Director of Tennis” $293k, their “Green Superintendent” $229k, their “General Manager” $324k, their “Tennis Pro” $150k, their CFO $190k, etc. Personally, I’d rather spend the $1.5 million per year these guys would save if Del. Hugo’s bill passes on stuff like Arlington’s public school teachers, but hey, that’s just me…

P.S. Can someone please explain to me how these poor, poor country clubs are being “overtaxed?” Especially when they are sitting on prime, super-valuable real estate?

Washington Golf & Country Club




Army-Navy CC



  • Arlington County Board member Christian Dorsey responds (on the record) to my question on whether these country clubs/golf course are being “overtaxed,” as many are repeating these days…

    This canard is based on a top line comparison of tax assessments for golf courses in Arlington compared to surrounding jurisdictions.

    It does not factor in:
    A: Our comparatively higher land values, and most significantly,
    B: Arlington uses a standard assessment methodology whereas other jurisdictions have adopted ordinances and OPTED to assess golf courses much lower presumably to either encourage greenfield development or to prevent sprawl.

    If the golf courses were taxed as residential (as their boosters deceitful allege), their tax bills could be 8 times higher.

    By the way, anyone-residential or commercial property owner who believes they are “overtaxed” has a statutory appeals mechanism-the Board of Equalization. Washington Golf CC has appealed at least several times before.

  • James McCarthy

    Thugo, the delegate, has led the GA to deform the generally neutral Dillon rule into a mechanism to usurp the legitimate function of local government and cater to a private interest. A fine example of small, local government so highly cherished by the radical right. If the bill is vetoed, hopefully Thugo’s dream of lifetime membership disappears and the citizens of Arlington enjoy a stable budget.

    • Regardless, we all have to make sure this is Tim Hugo’s last term in office.

  • John Doe

    There is so much wrong with this post that I do not know where to begin. I’ll try.
    First, go to the County’s general land use plan. Both properties are on the County’s long term plan as open space. So, the long term plan is for these properties to remain as green space, forever. The Clubs are both using the properties in accordance with the County’s long term plan. For you to argue the properties are super valuable necessarily requires you to pretend that the two properties will someday become something else.
    Next, you show the compensation of the most highly compensated employees of the clubs. Compensation is determined by market rate, not by your personal view of what is high or low. A federal government employee in the DC market place who is a GS-16 makes $164,200, and cannot be fired. The employees on the list are professionals, and they can be fired.
    To argue that the salaries of employees means the members themselves are wealthy is absurd. There are 7,200 members at Army Navy who generate $30 million in revenue which goes to 500 employees. That’s not a lot of revenue per member.
    Then, finally, there is the question of overall fairness. Is it fair that Army Navy pays several times the taxes of every other club in the DC metro area and Virginia. Army Navy pays $1.6 million and Trump National is the next closest at $266,000. Obviously not.
    Now, if you want to close your eyes and beat up on a bunch of active duty military and retired military families and pretend they are rich, then I cannot stop you. But, nobody who has lived in Arlington for more than 15 minutes would think that the Army Navy members are the super rich. What you are doing and saying is dead wrong. Fortunately, 2/3 of the Virginia Senate and House does not agree with you. I hope the Governor does not either.

    • James McCarthy

      Is it fair that Trump National pays taxes on its profit while some clubs do not. ANCC generated a profit of $840K in a recent filing, after paying its real estate tax bill.

      You ignore the proportions cited in the article. Whatever you believe “super rich” to be, the ANCC is not suffering and it’s employees are well compensated. The 207,000 citizens of Arlington should not be forced to subsidize an organization already subsidized under tax laws. Lastly, the bill is bad government and governance usurping the prerogatives of local government in the service of a special interest. Look at what the GA did in 1956 to Arlington in behalf of the special interest of school segregation. History has repeated itself.

  • Video: Delegates Lopez, Toscano, Levine speak against golf course bill, which passes WITHOUT enough votes to override a veto by Gov. Northam. Also, Del. Levine argues convincingly that the bill is unconstitutional.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eY0ENOs3P7U

    • DCStrangler

      Convincing? The problem with Levine’s argument is that HB 1204 is not a “local, special, or private law”. HB 1204 refers to “any county”. It’s only convincing if wearing rose colored lenses. And BTW, the bill had already passed the house. This was an amendment. Precision matters. Is Northam going to risk losing a toe to this? I sincerely doubt it, because he knows that if he vetos WGCC and ANCC are going to dig deep into their pockets and just throw some cash around.