As it was first proposed in the fiscal 2015 school budget, Loudoun County Public Schools didn't have a lot of revenue coming from the county.
But at the budget public hearing and work session Jan. 16, LCPS announced they received a bit of good news with word of increased county revenue.
Hatrick and LCPS Assistant Superintendent for Business and Financial Services Leigh Burden announced the schools could receive $31.3 - a marked improvement from the previously predicted $3 million – if Supervisors approve an equalized tax rate. Loudoun homeowners would not see an increase in taxes under an equalized rate.
In a second scenario outlined by Hatrick and Burden, LCPS could receive $23.3 million in revenue from the county if the Supervisors drop two cents of the tax rate from last year.
“This is good news. It still leaves a $56.3 million gap in the best case scenario and $64.3 million in the second scenario,” Hatrick said. “It does not solve everything, but it makes it a little less painful than it was.”
Burden said the county notified LCPS early last week about the new revenue numbers.
“The new revenue estimates show we would receive an increase of $31.3 million based on these current projections,” Burden announced. “That would result, based on the Superintendent's proposed budget, a gap at $56.3 million instead of the $84 million number we had talked about earlier.”
Burden also highlighted the second tax scenario that was shared with the school system by the county.
“The second tax transfer scenario uses a tax rate of two cents less and recall that preliminary estimates was that we were going to get $8 million less in that second scenario and now we would get $23 million more in the second scenario with a two cent reduction,” Burden said.
When Jennifer Bergel (Catoctin) asked what had changed, Hatrick was unsure where the extra funding came from.
“This is very much different from our previous numbers. We don't have all the background as to why the increase has occurred,” Dr. Hatrick said. “Obviously the value of property has to be considerably larger than it was. This indicates to me that as they are working with the value of all real property in the county, the new construction must be much greater than had been expected. It is all based in real estate.”