Loudoun County administrator Philip A. Bolen has proposed a $58.4 million county budget for the coming fiscal year, about 9.6 percent higher than the current $53.3 million budget.
Although the budget plan includes a proposal to lower the property tax rate from $1.25 to $1.15 for each $100 of assessed valuation, Bolen said the tax bill for the owner of a typical $80,000 house still would increase by $136 because this year's assessments have boosted the value of older homes by about 28 percent.
However, a rate less than $1.15 is possible, Bolen said, since the Board of Supervisors regularly approves a tax rate lower than that recommended by the administrator.
The proposed budget calls for an average 12 percent increase in spending for most county departments, roughly the increase in the cost of living, and a 15.1 increase in school expenditures, which make up about 63 percent of the total county budget. The schools have requested nearly $35 million for the coming fiscal year, $4.7 million more than present spending of $30.3 million.
Despite those increases, Bolen said the total budget increases has been held 9.6 percent because spending on several capital construction projects and debt service on previous projects will decline.
The proposed tax rate of $1.15 for each $100 of assessed value would provide the county with a $450,000 surplus, Bolen said, and could help offset any decreases in state and federal aid to the county. If the Board of Supervisors decided to go without that surplus, Bolen added, the tax rate could be set at $1.13.