PURCELLVILLE, Va. February 25, 2020 — Residents may have noticed an advertisement for a public hearing to be held on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at 7:00 PM to consider a proposed real property tax increase from our current rate of $.22 per $100 of assessed value for next calendar year to $.26 per $100 of assessed value. The rate advertised for next calendar year (2020) of $.26 represents the maximum estimate that my office would propose as part of this year’s budgetary process, which has yet to commence. At a maximum increased rate of four cents, the approximate increased annual cost to a homeowner for a house valued at $400,000, would be approximately $160.00 (one hundred sixty dollars).
My office will present the Town Manager’s recommendations on the budget on all taxes and all rates at a Town Council Special Meeting on March 18, 2020 at 7:00 PM. As next year’s fiscal budget has not been finalized, nor have I assessed the final recommendations of our management team and Finance Dept., the most prudent approach was to advertise a rate providing maximum flexibility to achieve our anticipated costs, while maintaining the current level of services that both residents and businesses have enjoyed. Through the deliberative process of Council’s review on the Manager’s recommendations, the Town Council will evaluate an array of alternatives to maintain service delivery and keep the real property tax increase to a moderate level. While it is recognized that within eleven months the Police Dept. must find a new temporary police headquarters and begin the process of planning for a permanent site, my office and the Chief of Police are exploring alternatives to substantially lower the anticipated costs of the temporary police headquarters. In addition, the Town continually maintains a surplus above its fiscal policy; therefore the Town’s unrestricted fund balance may be utilized to offset anticipated FY2020 costs. It is significant to note that the management team went beyond achieving a balanced budget; last year’s revenue exceeded expenditures by $1.1 million, a significant accomplishment.
The schedule of special budgetary work sessions with the management team and Town Council are advertised on our website. I encourage all citizens to participate in both the Manager’s budget message as well as the individual presentations that are being prepared by our department head management team members. Working together to set taxes, rates and service levels, will ensure that our Town achieves structural balance, maintains its excellent bond ratings, and most of all, protects the Town’s quality of life-the single most important element that helps ensure the increasing value of our homes.
With regard to the Fireman’s Field Service Tax District, my office has advertised a rate equal to the adopted rate for 2018 back to the level of 3.5 cents, which represents an additional half penny. This half penny will result in an additional $75,000 for the Town’s
Asset Management Program for the upkeep of Fireman’s Field, consistent with the five year contract with Loudoun County. At a half penny increase, the approximate increased annual cost to a homeowner for a house valued at $400,000, would be approximately $20.00 (twenty dollars).