The Loudoun Board of Supervisors on Wednesday approved a $1.8 billion FY 2014 budget that equates to a slightly reduced tax rate for the average landowner.
Supervisors lowered the tax rate from $1.235 per $100 of assessed valued to $1.205, which equates to a $69 for a $405,977 home. The personal property tax rate remains unchanged at $4.20 per $100.
Supervisors opposing the budget and tax rate said they preferred to make additional cuts.
Supervisor Suzanne Volpe (R-Algonkian) said increased assessments in eastern Loudoun mean that the new tax rate, even though it’s lower than the current rate, “in effect is a tax increase in my district.”
However, Supervisor Matt Letourneau (R-Dulles) said there were many speakers at budget hearings pushing for a higher tax rate to fund additional items.
“I think it’s a compromise,” he said. “It strikes a balance.”
Letourneau said he had hoped to increase the transfer to Loudoun County Public Schools, but he also pointed out that the schools would still receive $20 million more than last year.How will the tax rate impact your taxes? Check your assessment online (check last year's tax bill,too). Divide by 100 and multiply to 1.205 to get your new tax bill. For town residents, homeowners must add their town's tax rate to the equation.
The board voted 5-3-1 to approve the FY 2014 fiscal plan, the associated appropriations and the capital improvement program. Supervisors Volpe, Ken Reid (R-Leesburg) and Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) voted against the measures. The board voted 4-3-1-1 to approve the tax rate. Supervisor Ralph Buona (R-Ashburn) initially voted against the tax rate measure, but changed his vote to an abstention so tax notices can move forward. Supervisor Janet Clarke (R-Blue Ridge) was absent from the meeting due to a death in her husband’s family.
A Budget Summary from the County’s Public Information Office:
- The FY 2014 fiscal plan includes $1.2 billion for operating costs, including $841.7 million for the school system, $412.8 million for the general government, and $8.8 million for the Comprehensive Services Act for At-Risk Youth Act (CSA). In addition, the adopted fiscal plan includes $153.7 million for annual debt service, of which $109.2 million is for the school system and $44.5 million is for general government projects.
- About 65 percent of the $1.02 billion in revenues from local taxes will be used for school operating expenses, capital projects and debt service. The remaining 35 percent will be used for the general county government for operating expenses, capital projects and debt service. In adopting the FY 2014 budget, the Board of Supervisors increased the School Board’s budget by $20.5 million.
- The FY 2014 budget includes funding for a limited number of enhancements for the general county government, most of which focus on core operating service needs and new facilities. The budget also includes a 2 percent merit-based pay increase for eligible county employees.
Capital Improvement Program
- The Board also adopted an amended $1.73 billion Capital Improvements Program (CIP) for the six-year, FY 2013 – FY 2018 planning period. FY 2014 includes $264 million for general government projects and $11.95 million for public schools projects. The largest expenditure category is transportation infrastructure at $166 million, which includes $124 million for road, trail and sidewalk projects. Major transportation projects include $40 million for the widening of Route 606, $27.3 million for Gloucester Parkway, $17.5 million for Kincaid/Crosstrail Boulevard, $40 million for Dulles Corridor Rapid Transit, and $2 million for the acquisition of transit buses.
- Other expenditures are related to public safety projects and parks and recreation projects, including $7.8 million for construction of the Ashburn Sheriff’s Station, $3.6 million for renovation of the Ashburn Volunteer Fire and Rescue Station, $3.6 million for the Aldie Fire and Rescue Station, $4.9 million for the Emergency Communications/E-911 Center, $9 million for the Lovettsville District Park, $5.38 million for the Lovettsville Community Center replacement project, $2.1 million for athletic field irrigation and turf improvements, and $36.5 million for the Dulles Multi-Purpose Center. The Public School capital projects include $4.3 million for an addition to Mercer Middle School, $5 million for an addition to Freedom High School and $2.6 million for stadium upgrades at Loudoun County High School.