Alexandria City Council Adopts Fiscal Year 2021 Budget
For Immediate Release: April 29, 2020
On April 29, the Alexandria City Council unanimously adopted a Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 General Fund Operating Budget of $753.3 million, which is 5.8% lower than the $799.9 million operating budget originally proposed by City Manager Mark Jinks in February. The adopted budget reflects the revised operating and capital budgets proposed by Jinks on April 7, due to the nearly $100 million budget gap created by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In the face of an unprecedented economic crisis, City Council’s adopted FY 2021 budget represents a responsible balance between meeting urgent community needs and deferring other expenses,” said Mayor Justin Wilson. “We are grateful to the City Manager, City staff, and all those who contributed to the development of this budget. Thanks to their hard work and City Council’s long history of prudent fiscal management, we are in a stable position to help our community through the current pandemic.”
The approved budget, which represents a 1.6% decrease from the FY 2020 budget, focuses on continuing the City’s record of prudent fiscal management; relieving some of the burden on taxpayers; and delivering core services to the community.
As in the City Manager’s April 7 revised proposal, the budget approved by City Council does not include an originally proposed 2-cent increase in the 2020 real estate tax rate to fund City and Schools capital projects. The real estate tax rate approved by City Council remains at $1.13 per $100 of assessed value, and there are no other tax rate increases. This will require the beginning phases of the Waterfront Park and Flood Mitigation plan and the high school facility project at the Minnie Howard Campus to be rescheduled to FY 2023. However, the new MacArthur Elementary School project remains budgeted and will proceed on schedule.
The adopted budget defers many previously proposed program enhancements (totaling $2.1 million of $3.9 million proposed), and reduces the scope of several projects in the 10-year Capital Improvement Program or defers them from FY 2021 to a future fiscal year. The budget defers previously proposed pay increases for City employees and implements a selective hiring freeze for much of FY 2021. This $22.5 million savings will avoid the need to eliminate any incumbent positions or furlough current employees. The budget also reduces the operating transfer to the Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) by $7.4 million, an amount equivalent to previously proposed pay increases for ACPS staff (the final decision on ACPS employee compensation rests with the Alexandria School Board).
The approved budget allocates $1 million to the Alexandria Health Department from potential federal funding under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, to be used along with potential state funding for substantially increased epidemiological staffing. Although the Alexandria Health Department is a division of the Virginia Department of Health, more than 50% of its budget is funded by the City.
Visit alexandriava.gov/Budget to learn more about the entire budget process and view all budget documents.
For media inquiries only, contact Craig Fifer, Director of Communications and Public Information, at email@example.com or 703.746.3965.
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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/115045.