Board Receives FY2017 Proposed Budget

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Provided by Prince William County

Prince William County Seal

The Prince William Board of County Supervisors recently got its first look at the proposed $1-billion budget for Fiscal Year 2017.

The proposed budget was developed following the Board’s tax guidance to include a 3.88 percent increase to the average residential real estate tax bill, which amounts to a $145 increase from Fiscal Year 2016. As proposed, the average residential real estate tax bill would be $3,877 for Fiscal Year 2017. The proposed tax rate would be raised from $1.122 to $1.145 per $100 of assessed value.

Acting County Executive Christopher E. Martino’s presentation to the board showed that real estate taxes bring in 66.14 percent of county revenues while personal property taxes bring in 17.7 percent of the county’s revenue. Sales, consumer utilities, communications, investment income, Business Professional Occupational License (BPOL) and other taxes, along with building and development fees, the fire levy, and stormwater management fees bring in the remainder of the money for county operations.

The Prince William Board of County Supervisors and Prince William Public Schools operate under a revenue sharing agreement where the schools get 57.23 percent of the county’s general revenues, excluding the recordation tax, which brings in $7.3 million earmarked for transportation needs. In this year’s proposed budget, the board would send the schools $533.3 million under the terms of the revenue sharing agreement.

The Fiscal Year 2017 Proposed Budget also includes some initiatives that would be funded with $28.8 million in savings from Fiscal Year 2015. According to the proposed budget, $3 million would be added to the Economic Development Opportunity Fund, which is used to attract businesses to Prince William County. Another $2.2 million would go toward one-time, or non-recurring, operational expenses. Another $23.6 million would go to capital improvements.

Public safety improvements, under the Capital Improvement Plan, including the construction of a new fire station, replacing the Prince William County Courthouse security system, a courtroom renovation and security enhancements at the McCoart Government Center, would cost roughly $32 million.

Human Services initiatives funded in the proposed budget include spending $472,000 to add four mental health therapists to help the 105 people who are on a waiting list for services; funding the required New Horizons therapist at Colgan High School at a cost of $86,000; and adding four case managers for services to intellectually disabled residents, which would be funded by the state. PWL The budget presentation also showed that in Fiscal Year 2017, meeting the state mandate to address an increase in adult guardianship caseloads would cost an additional $42,000.

The board previously approved $848,000 for parks and schools field maintenance, which is also included in the Proposed Fiscal Year 2017 Budget.

There are a number of operational increases funded in the budget, including $1.9 million to pay for contractual increases, election ballots, voting equipment licenses, the 2016 Presidential Election, commercial property appraisal study, computer system upgrades and security camera upgrades at cash handling areas in county government.

Following are the scheduled budget meetings to be held in the Board Chambers at the McCoart Government Center at 1 County Complex Court:

· Authorize Tax Rate for Advertisement – Feb. 23

· Budget Presentations – March 8 and 15

· Planning Commission, CIP Public Hearing – April 6

· Proposed Budget & Tax Rate Public Hearings – April 12

· Budget Markup – April 14

· Budget Adoption – April 19

The Prince William County Public Schools will present their budget to the Board of County Supervisors at the McCoart Building at 7:30 p. m. on April 5.

County residents can learn more about the budget and provide budget input online at pwcgov.org/budget.

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