The Prince William Board of County Supervisors adopted the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Budget on Tuesday, April 27.
"This budget demonstrates our commitment to the residents of Prince William County," said Chair-At-Large Ann Wheeler. "We made significant investments in public services to meet the needs of the community."
The FY2022 Budget advances the county's Strategic Plan priorities and implements board policy directives. Those directives include developing an environmental sustainability program; sustaining and expanding homeless services including new case management services in the Sudley corridor; and developing an equity and inclusion program. The board approved a 3 percent raise for all employees.
The adopted budget also funds debt service and technology operating costs derived from the County's Capital Improvement Program, sustains investment in wellbeing initiatives for the most vulnerable, restores reductions from Fiscal Year 2021, and advances the parks and transportation referendum projects approved by the community.
To fund these items, the adopted budget increases the business tangible computer and peripheral tax rate by $0.15 to $1.50 per $100 of assessed value and will implement a cigarette tax at $0.40 per pack. The Board reduced the real estate tax rate from $1.125 to $1.115 per $100 of assessed value while maintaining a flat fire levy rate of $0.08 cents per $100 of assessed value. The average residential real estate tax bill increases $286 ($264 from the real estate tax and $22 from the fire levy).
The adopted budget maintains the Board's commitment to its strategic priorities of Quality Education and Workforce Development, Wellbeing, Safe & Secure Community, Robust Economy, and Mobility including:
Quality Education and Workforce Development – Support for K-12 education continues with the county/schools' revenue sharing agreement, which provides 57.23 percent of general revenue to Prince William County Schools. The adopted budget increases the local transfer to the schools by $30.5 million or 4.9 percent more than FY2021.
Wellbeing – The adopted budget includes Social Services staffing to address a 200 percent increase in Benefits Eligibility and Child Care new applications and renewals during the pandemic. It also increases local funding to expand the Co-Responder program, a joint effort between Community Services and Police to help and divert clients experiencing mental health crises from hospitalization or incarceration. Local general fund support is also provided for expanded homeless services and reducing the waitlist for services of the developmentally disabled. The adopted budget also expands funding to establish a Child Advocacy Center for the investigation, treatment, intervention, and prosecution of child abuse cases while minimizing child victim trauma. The adopted budget also provides local salary supplements for Public Health state employees.
Safe & Secure Community – The adopted budget includes engine unit staffing at Fire & Rescue Station 22 located on Balls Ford Road, which opened in January 2021, as well as staff for the Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney and administrative local assistance for the courts. The adopted budget includes new Police Department staffing for expanding Co-Responder units with Community Services, school resource officer staffing at Gainesville High School and Potomac Shores Middle School, and civilian staff for the new Animal Shelter scheduled to open this year. The County's body worn camera program is maintained in the Police Department and expanded in the adopted budget to include the Sheriff's Office.
Robust Economy – The County continues to seek opportunities to assist small businesses as they recover during the pandemic through small business relief micro-grants as well as capital investment and innovation grants for businesses that needed to make physical improvements and adhere to safety guidelines during the pandemic.
Mobility – The adopted budget maintains the Transportation Roadway Improvement Program, which constructs mobility projects such as sidewalks, trails, and safety improvements. Virginia Railway Express and Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission transit services are also sustained in the adopted budget.