The Vienna Town Council is considering raising the town's property tax rate for the first time in four years to fund a proposed $9.2 million budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
The budget, proposed Monday by Town Manager John H. Schoeberlein, would boost the tax rate 4 cents to 37 cents per $100 of assessed valuation and add about $42 to the town real estate tax bill of the owner of an average home assessed at $105,160, bringing the bill to $389.10.
The owner of the same house also will get a Fairfax County real estate tax bill for $1,535.34.
Services the county provides Vienna residents include schools, libraries and fire protection, while the town provides water and sewer service, trash collection, street maintenance, police protection and recreational facilities.
Schoeberlein, who was appointed town manager by the council in March, said the proposed tax increase would generate $261,424 in additional revenues for the town of 15,500.
He has proposed earmarking $134,807 of that amount for a contingency fund to cover unexpected expenses, such as new equipment costs. The town now has $4,590 in emergency reserves, an amount Schoeberlein called "very low."
"We should have enough to cover unanticipated expenses or emergencies during the year, such as the purchase of new equipment. It's not an account to be spent just because the money is in there," he said in a telephone interview.
Schoeberlein said the council already has cut $43,000 from a proposed $157,725 increase in the town's public works department budget.
Other proposed budget increases include $68,000 to the town's $580,000 water and sewer fund to cover a jump in the cost of water service, which the town purchases from Falls Church; $43,155 to upgrade the salary level of the town's 40-member police force; and $35,000 for 4 percent cost-of-living raises for town employes.
Schoeberlein's proposed budget, which is scheduled for final action June 3, is 9.7 percent higher than the current budget of $8.4 million.