County Administrator Tim Hemstreet has presented a proposed budget for the Loudoun County government to the Board of Supervisors for Fiscal Year 2022 (FY 2022), which begins July 1, 2021. The budget totals $3.3 billion in appropriations for the county government and Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS).
The proposed budget has been prepared at a real property tax rate of $1.005 per $100 of assessed value, three cents below the current real property tax rate of $1.035 per $100 of assessed value. Although the Board of Supervisors’ guidance to the County Administrator was to prepare a budget at a real property tax rate of one cent above the overall equalized rate, Hemstreet said “positive shifts” in the revenue picture that occurred after the Board’s final guidance and a lower-than-anticipated budget request from LCPS prompted him to prepare a budget at a lower tax rate—one-half cent above the overall equalized rate.
“Prepared at the tax rate of $1.005, the proposed budget provides for what I believe are the necessary positions and funding to maintain or—in key strategic areas, enhance—service levels for the county government, open new facilities and compensate employees at a market rate, as well as position the organization to support the Board of Supervisors’ priorities,” Hemstreet said.
The priorities for the FY 2022 proposed budget include employee pay, opening new facilities, supporting the county’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) and the Board’s strategic initiatives and providing resources to county government departments to support their top priorities.
The FY 2022 proposed budget includes:
Factors Shaping the Proposed Budget
The proposed FY 2022 budget was developed in an economic climate unlike any other year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Significant factors influencing development of the budget include:
The FY 2022 proposed budget also includes funding for Loudoun County’s operating and capital subsidy payments to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority due to the anticipated start of Metrorail’s Silver Line revenue service in Loudoun County during FY 2022.
Capital Improvement Program (CIP)
The Amended FY 2021-2026 Capital Improvement Program (CIP), which includes both county and school projects, totals $3.2 billion for the six-year planning period. The category with the largest expenditure percentage is transportation projects at 37%, followed by school projects at 26%, which incorporates the School Board’s adopted capital plan and accommodates all requested school projects.
New projects include the Arcola Quarters for the Enslaved, which will restore an existing historic site in Arcola to a passive and educational recreation facility, and the local match for the FEMA grant to mitigate flooding issues in Selma Estates.
The CIP also calls for accelerating critical Board priorities, including the Western Loudoun Recreation Center and the Remote Site Connectivity project, which expands broadband to five county sites, also in western Loudoun.
Tax Rates Summary
The proposed budget is balanced at the real property tax rate of $1.005 per $100 of assessed value. Hemstreet also provided the Board with two additional tax rate scenarios for their consideration: at one cent below and at one-half cent above the tax rate of the proposed budget.
Hemstreet has advertised a real property tax rate of $1.010, which provides the Board with flexibility to consider additional county government priorities; the LCPS budget request is fully funded at the $1.005 tax rate.
The Board of Supervisors will determine the final real property tax rate and related budget policy decisions during March budget work sessions with adoption of the FY 2022 budget expected at the Board’s business meeting April 6, 2021.
There are several ways in which members of the public may participate in the budget process, including Board of Supervisors public hearings, email, voice messages and social media. The Board will hold three public hearings on the proposed FY 2022 budget. The hearings are scheduled for:
Anyone who wishes to speak at the public hearings may sign up in advance for one speaking slot, beginning Thursday, February 11, 2021, by calling 703-777-0204. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, speakers are encouraged to provide comments remotely.
The public hearings will be available for viewing on Comcast Government TV Channel 23 and Verizon FiOS Channel 40. They will also be webcast at loudoun.gov/meetings.
Members of the public may also:
For More Information
More information, including the FY 2022 proposed budget, the County Administrator’s FY 2022 budget presentation, the schedule for Board of Supervisors budget work sessions and the Board’s Finance/Government Operations and Economic Development Committee’s CIP work sessions, is posted on the Loudoun County website at loudoun.gov/budget.
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