banner ad

County Executive Proposes FY18 Budget to Address Strategic Goals

| February 24, 2017 | 0 Comments | News

Image by Prince William County Government

Submitted by Prince William County Government  

The Prince William County Fiscal 2018 addresses goals of increased funding for education, public safety, reducing homelessness, assisting in providing funds for new school construction and maintaining current levels of public transportation. 

The budget is also significant in that it increases the threshold for the amount a small business would have to make in profits before needed to pay the county’s Business Professional Occupational License [BPOL] tax.

According to the County Executive Christopher Martino, the budget supports the supervisors’ recently adopted strategic plan: the goals of which include good quality of life, robust economy, safety and security, quality education, workforce development, increased mobility for residents and general wellbeing.

In a recent presentation to the board of county supervisors, Martino said in fiscal-year 2018 operational expenditures will increase by 3.24 percent. That is less than the board’s request to cap operational expenses at a 3.5 percent annual increase as stated in their five-year plan.

Should the proposed budget be adopted, the real estate tax rate would increase from $1.122 to $1.125 per $100 of assessed value. To offset property taxes, Martino recommended increasing the fire levy by $34 next year to cover operational and capital costs for fire and rescue services. Building and land development fees would increase by 1.85 percent and 1.1 percent respectively as well.

As directed by the five-year plan, the proposed fiscal 2018 budget implements the county/school revenue sharing agreement, providing $548 million of the county’s $966 million general revenue to the school system.

That leaves the county with $418 million in general revenue. Other county revenue, including money collected by county agencies, bring the county’s total county revenue to $569 million.

The budget offers good news for small businesses in the county. In fiscal 2016, the board voted to raise the threshold on the BPOL tax from $300,000 to $500,000 over four years, meaning, businesses with gross receipts less than the threshold would be exempt from the tax.

The Fiscal 2018 proposed budget would raise the exemption threshold to $500,000 two years ahead of schedule and exempt 681 businesses in the county from the BPOL tax. Martino said the change would support growing small businesses.

Martino said that maintaining current levels of public safety are important to keep pace with the growing population. To achieve this, the proposed budget would hire new 28 full-time employees at the Prince William-Manassas Adult Detention Center, three police officers and three civilian police employees. The county also would hire two sheriff’s deputies to conduct evictions.

The proposed budget also calls for implementing the police department’s body-worn camera program at a cost of $1.3 million. An additional Commonwealth’s attorney and a paralegal, at a cost of $170,000, would be needed to oversee digital evidence collected by the cameras.

Fire and rescue would gain 59 employees under the proposed budget. The firefighters and rescue technicians would staff the Gainesville station, Lake Jackson Fire and Rescue and Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton (OWL) Station 14, for a total cost of $6.5 million with $2.9 million funded by the fire levy.

Improving services for the homeless would include rapid rehousing to prevent homelessness and lengthy stays at temporary shelters. Streamlining the process would make efficient use of community partnerships. Running the program would require four full-time and two part-time employees. Under the program, 177 more people would receive services annually at a cost of $400,000 to the county.

County employees can expect their usual pay raises at a cost of $8.9 million to the county, which includes increases in health insurance and benefits.

Money set aside for school construction includes funding for the 13th high school.

More information on the budget in its entirety, including all budget-related meeting schedules, can be seen at the county’s Office of Management and Budget website.

Edited by Stacy Shaw 

© 2017, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

Facebook Comments
Print Friendly

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Category: News

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

banner ad