Budget overview: Supervisors set to finalize fiscal 2016 spending plan Wednesday
Loudoun's Board of Supervisors is set to adopt the fiscal 2016 budget on April Fool's Day, and Loudoun County Public Schools officials are hoping recent statements from supervisors are no joke.
For the first time in more than a decade, the board's majority has committed to allocating enough local funds to fully fund the LCPS' adopted $982 million budget.
Supervisors arrived at their budget mark after several work sessions, by utilizing more than $10 million in surplus funds and realizing increased teacher pay funding from the state.
Most importantly for the all-Republican board's fiscal conservatives, next year's budget is expected to hit the equalized tax rate – that which keeps tax bills level for the average homeowner – of nearly $1.135 per $100 in assess property value.
Factoring in rising home values, many homeowners are still likely to see a hike in their taxes.
A trio of supervisors – Ken Reid (R-Leesburg), Suzanne Volpe (R-Algonkian) and Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) – opposed the spending plan to fully fund LCPS because of its reliance on surplus funds and general fund balance.
The fiscal 2016 budget, which begins July 1, totals roughly $2.2 billion, and the school system isn't the only county operation expected to see enhancements when the board finalizes the budget April 1.
The Sheriff's Office expects to see a modest increase in expenditures, up roughly $1.3 million from last year to $81.9 million.
Some extra add-ons to the county's spending plan, adopted in a straw poll by the supervisors, include:
-$2.4 million for emergency services staffing for enhanced heavy rescue squad and advanced life support operations.
-$123,000 for an international business development manager in the Department of Economic Development.
-$1 million in unallocated local gas tax funding to fund additional bus routes to Metro stations.
-$150,000 to upgrade wireless access in the county government center.
-$370,000 for four positions to accommodate the addition of a new circuit court judge.
-More than $750,000 for public safety-related expenses within the Fire Marshal's Office and the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office.
-$93,000 for a training coordinator with library services.
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