On February 15, Loudoun County Administrator Tim Hemstreet presented to the Board of Supervisors a proposed Fiscal Year 2018 budget of $2.5 billion. Public hearings on the budget were held February 28, March 2, and March 4.
The Board of Supervisors has now settled in for a series of six intensive budget work sessions, March 6, 9, 13, 16, 20, and 22. The County’s goal is to adopt a formal 2018 budget by April 4. The County’s new fiscal year officially begins on July 1.
The public hearings were fully televised on Comcast Government Channel 23, Open Band Channel 40, and Verizon FiOS Channel 40. They were also available on the County webcast system, accessible via www.loudoun.gov. The work sessions will be televised and on the County webcast system as well. Budget documents can be accessed at www.loudoun.gov/bosdocuments.
Under the proposed budget, for every $1 of county spending, 57 cents, or 57 percent, is earmarked for the Public School System, 13 percent to Debt Service, 11 percent for Public Safety & Judicial Administration, five percent to the County’s Capital Improvement Program, four percent for both Health & Welfare and General Government Administration, three percent for Parks, Recreation and Culture, two percent for Community Development, and one percent Non-governmental costs. Debt Service and Capital Improvement Program costs apply to expenditures for schools and expenditures for other county needs.
BOS Chair Phyllis Randall noted in a late February e-newsletter to citizens that the proposed budget is based on an estimated equalized real property tax rate of $1.135 and an advertised tax rate of $1.140. The current tax rate is $1.145. According to Hemstreet, the homeowners’ equalized tax rate is to be $1.140. This rate would fully fund “the County’s critical needs and the LCPS budget.”
Randall, a mental health professional by trade, also noted that “Behavioral Health and Human Services has not been funded in years past, despite our growing population. In Public Safety, talented staff leave for better opportunities. We can no longer continue to ask staff to do more with less.”