Loudoun board approves $1.8 billion budget
Fulfilling a promise they say they campaigned on – lowering the county's property taxes – members of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors finalized Wednesday a $1.8 billion fiscal 2014 budget that lowers the average homeowner's tax bill.
Working down from a tax rate of $1.235 per $100 in assessed real property value in the current fiscal year, a majority of the all-Republican board agreed to a rate of $1.205 for the upcoming budget year that begins in July. That figure equates to a roughly 2.4 percent average reduction in property taxes, or approximately $70.
While the $1.205 mark represents a tax cut for the average homeowner, residents in certain regions of the county may still see a bump in their taxes since assessments in many areas have drastically spiked.
The budget still leaves a more than $15 million shortfall for Loudoun County Public Schools, an amount officials say they need to keep and recruit top-tier teachers and maintain strong schools with a growing student population. LCPS, which adopted an $860 million budget in January, is expected to welcome 2,500 new students next school year and open two new high schools.
Altogether, the county will allocate nearly $842 million to LCPS.
County employees will receive a 2 percent merit-based pay increase in the upcoming fiscal year, something that will cost the county approximately $4 million.
Additional highlights of the 2014 budget include a nearly $500,000 allocation increase to the Virginia Regional Transit system, which saw its federal funding slashed on account of a new regional classification; directing more than $425,000 to the county's parks and recreation department for athletic field enhancements; and funding a $63,000 position to work on rural business strategy.