County administrator Kirby M. Bowers presented a $1.47 billion proposed fiscal plan, for the Loudoun County government for fiscal year 2007 to the Board of Supervisors Tuesday, Feb. 14. The fiscal plan funds the general county government and school system.
Bowers proposed reducing the tax rate from $1.04 to $.97, a seven-cent reduction in the real property tax rate. The proposed tax rate includes $980 million for the school system, $467 million for general county service expenditures and $7.5 million for the Comprehensive Services Act for At-Risk Youth, a state law requiring localities to provide services to troubled youth and their families.
"Under the proposed fiscal plan, nearly three quarters — 74 percent — of local tax funding would be used for the school system’s operational, capital and debt service needs," Bowers said in a press release.
SEVERAL KEY FACTORS shaped the proposed fiscal plan, Bowers said. The integrity of Loudoun’s financial operations, service demands, economic and demographic trends, fiscal trends and community input factored into the fiscal plan.
By 2010, Loudoun’s population is project to reach 318,000 residents, close to the combined populations of Arlington County and Alexandria, Bowers said.
This trend reflects the strength of the local economy and Loudoun’s desirability to live and work, and there costs associated with the high pace of growth, he said in a release.
As Loudoun County continues to grow, new schools need to be built to alleviate overcrowded classrooms. Loudoun County Department of Legislative Services anticipates the school population to grow more than 7 percent by next year. The proposed plan will fund 26 new schools from 2007 to 2012.
THE CAPITAL IMPROVMENTS Plan (CIP) for Fiscal Year 2007 to Fiscal Year 2012 totals $1.64 billion. The school’s CIP totals $958.7 million, including land purchases associated with the school system.
The county’s CIP is $25 million less than the School Board’s proposed CIP.
The community played a key role in development of the FY '07 budget, Bowers said in a release.
"A November 2005 survey of county residents provided valuable insights into the attitudes and priorities of Loudoun residents," Bowers said in a press release.
One of the biggest concerns among residents surveyed was transportation.
The county government’s portion of the CIP is $684.9 million. It includes $289.6 million for transportation projects.
The state has not met its commitment to provide adequate transportation infrastructure in Loudoun County, Bowers said.
A PUBLIC HEARING on the fiscal plan will be held Wednesday, March 2, at 3 p.m., in the School Board Meeting Room at the Loudoun County Public School’s Administration Building in Ashburn. Anyone who wished to speak at the hearing may sign up in advance by calling 703-777-0204.