News Briefs: Arlington

Saving DARPA

Losing the National Science Foundation was a blow to Arlington. At the June 16 County Board meeting, the board will consider a bonus density expansion to the headquarters of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to prevent another agency vacancy. Ashton Park Associates LLC plans to add 1,200 additional square feet to the South Office Building to enhance site security with a secure screening and visitor check-in facility.

The expansion comes to a building already constructed from bonus density awarded as the county worked to retain federal agencies fleeing under the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Report. DARPA currently employs 220 people in Arlington County.

Elderly Tax Relief

The County Board will be considering an expansion of real estate tax relief for elderly residents and people with permanent disabilities. Currently, elderly residents whose annual income is at or below $99,472 or whose household assets are below $340,000 can qualify for a full, half, or quarter percent real estate tax exemption. The expansion involves a number of small amendments to the structure of the program that open it up to more residents, like increasing the threshold of household assets to $400,000. The changes would create a $153,898 decrease in county revenue.

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