Loudoun County Administrator Tim Hemstreet will propose his fiscal 2014 budget to the Board of Supervisors Wednesday night, an essential starting point for two months of debate and worksessions on the county's billion-dollar spending plan.
Fiscal 2014 runs from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014.
For fiscal 2013's $1.75 billion budget, the supervisors adopted a tax rate of $1.235 per $100 in assessed home value. That rate was expected to drop the average homeowner’s property tax bill by approximately $200, based on the then-average home value of $401,710, according to county documents.
In fiscal 2012, the tax rate was $1.285.
With Loudoun County Public Schools Superintendent Edgar Hatrick’s proposed $870 million budget for the upcoming year, there remains a roughly $20 million gap between what the schools want and what the supervisors are likely to have available.
Earlier this year Supervisor Ralph Buona (R-Ashburn), chair of the finance committee, favored starting out the budget direction with an equalized rate, one that will keep the average homeowner's tax bill level. County finance staff estimate an equalized tax rate to be around $1.23 per $100 in assessed value.
“What we’ve essentially done is not over-handcuff ourselves as a board. We’re giving ourselves the latitude to make trade-offs between schools, transportation, public safety and so forth,” Buona said Jan. 8.
Nixed during last year's budget talks, among other programs, were the county's youth drug court, automatic raises for county employees and a county horticulturist, a position responsible for overseeing the county's master gardeners.
Five years of Loudoun property taxes:
County real property tax rate per $100 assessed value
2012 - $1.235
2011 - $1.285
2010 - $1.300
2009 - $1.245
2008 - $1.140
Source: Loudoun County Public Information Office