Alexandria residents and business owners will share the responsibility for paying for new transportation projects with a 2-cent increase to the current property tax rate, City Council members said at a meeting Monday where they passed a $566.9 million budget for fiscal 2012.
That budget will be 6.6 percent bigger than last year’s budget.
The new tax rate of 99.8 cents per $100 of a property’s assessed value will reserve the increase for transportation projects, as well as help the council pay for new schools and cover a gap in employee pensions — all high priorities for the coming year’s budget, Vice Mayor Kerry J. Donley (D) said.
The average home, costing about $449,000, will have a tax bill of about $4,500, an increase of $107, Mayor William D. Euille (D) said.
Outgoing Alexandria City Manager James K. Hartmann proposed a $553.4 million budget in February that included a transportation add-on tax for commercial properties but no new fees, taxes or service reductions for residents. It also did not allocate additional money for new schools and asked city employees to pay 1 percent of their pension.
One highlight of the budget is that 2.2 cents per $100 will be reserved for transportation projects instead of the add-on tax. That 2.2-cent reserve is expected to raise $95 million over 10 years for transportation projects, said Bruce Johnson, interim city manager and chief finance officer. The $95 million plus bond funding and cash capital will create approximately $145 million for transportation projects planned in the next decade, he said.
Fort Ward restoration and stormwater efforts will receive a total of $345,000. Advocates for the park and the Oakland Baptist Church cemetery requested $300,000. Council set aside $85,000 for stormwater improvements, $150,000 for archeological studies and $110 for a management plan.