Vornado Realty Trust’s position as Arlington’s most valuable tenant and principal taxpayer is secure, if not flat out unheard of in the Washington region.
The assessed value of Vornado’s (NYSE: VNO) Arlington holdings (office buildings, hotels, apartments, land) now totals $6.3 billion, or 10.24 percent of all taxable real property in the county, according to Arlington’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for fiscal year 2012, released Saturday.
The value of Vornado’s property jumped $1.2 billion in a single year, a swing that should have driven up the company's real estate tax bill by $11.4 million. Vornado’s annual property tax tab of more than $60 million accounted for more than 5 percent of all the government collected through taxes, fees and fines.
More perspective: The combined value of the next three top property owners — Arland Towers Co., Albrittain Interests and Paradigm Managed Properties — is half that of Vornado’s.
To say Vornado is Arlington’s “principal taxpayer” is majorly underselling it. If Arlington were a public company, Vornado would control the board.
Other notes from Arlington’s annual report:
The federal government was, of course, Arlington’s top employer in 2012 with 34,000-plus employees, or 20 percent of the county’s workforce. Deloitte remained the top private employer with 5,100 employees, 1,600 more than in 2011. Accenture (NYSE: ACN) fired up the list from No. 20 to No. 2, growing from 500 to 4,000 employees with the opening of its Ballston headquarters.
The remainder of the principal employers list remained very much like it was in 2011: Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT), Virginia Hospital Center, Marriott International Inc. (NYSE: MAR), the Bureau of National Affairs Inc., CACI (NYSE: CACI), SAIC (NYSE: SAI), Corporate Executive Board, Marymount University, BAE Systems, The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA), and Starwood Hotels. U.S. Airways, once a mainstay on the list, has finally dropped off.
Arlington’s population topped 216,000 for the first time in 2012, an unusual 6,000-person jump year over year. Those residents (and Vornado) are driving a surge in tax collections. Arlington reaped $697.6 million in real estate and personal property tax revenue in 2012, $47 million more than 2011.
Business and professional license tax revenue hit an all-time high in 2012, $61.9 million, a 5.8 percent increase over the previous year.
The county now has 219 parks and playground, 115 more than a decade ago.
Arlington’s various checking accounts totaled $141.65 million at the close of fiscal 2012 — $139.5 million was held by Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC). Virginia Commerce Bank held the most of any local financial institution, a mere $807,853.
The county’s top 10 water consumers averaged 31.9 million gallons per month in fiscal 2012. Perhaps the focus on sustainability and waste is working: The top 10 averaged 37.6 million gallons per month one year earlier.
Ft. Myer consumed the most (7.57 million gallons per month), followed by Vornado’s RiverHouse apartments (1400 S. Joyce St.), the Pentagon City Mall, the Marriott Crystal City, Vornado’s RiverHouse apartments (1600 S. Joyce St.), Archstone’s Crystal City Towers, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, Vornado’s 1111 S. Army Navy Drive, the Arlington County Water Pollution Control Plant, and Archstone’s 320 S. 23rd St.