Alexandria City Manager Proposes Fiscal Year 2022 Budget
For Immediate Release: February 16, 2021
On February 16, City Manager Mark Jinks presented the Alexandria City Council with a proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 General Fund Operating Budget of $767.6 million, which represents an increase of 1.9% over the current year. The proposed budget includes $239 million in operating funds for the Alexandria City Public Schools, a $5 million (or 2.1%) increase over FY 2021 funding. The City’s 10-year Proposed Capital Improvement Program (CIP) was also presented by the City Manager. Over the next 10 years, this $2.66 billion CIP includes increases in capital investments for stormwater management infrastructure; redevelopment of the Landmark Mall site, which will include a new INOVA Alexandria hospital; municipal fiber projects; and educational and municipal facilities.
“This is the fourth consecutive year that my proposed budget requires no tax increases or major service reductions to fund ongoing government operations and 100% of the Superintendent’s operating budget request for public schools,” said Jinks. “The budget also proposes a two-cent real estate tax reduction, and provides two alternate budgets for Council consideration, including a budget that would keep the real estate tax rate stable.”
The City Manager’s proposed budget provides funding for initiatives that support the City’s pursuit of its goal of equity for all Alexandrians; bolster small businesses; support affordable housing; strengthen civic engagement efforts; support community-based policing; increase the availability and quality of early childhood education programs; pilot a policing-behavioral health co-responding program; and enhance capacity and system maintenance of stormwater management. Other initiatives in the proposed budget include a position to focus on City language policy and practices; transitioning the Yard Waste Collection Program to a fully in-house operation; flood mitigation; replacement of outdated criminal and civil justice system software; restoring Holmes Run Trail; enhancing cleaning and maintenance of the City’s recently expanded waterfront parks; and the addition of a virtual collaboration engineer to expand virtual meeting capabilities. The proposals reflect $3.3 million, or 0.9% increase in City operations, which is less than the rate of inflation.
The City Manager has recommended 100% of the School Board’s adopted 10-year Capital Improvement Plan (totaling $551.5 million) in his proposed $2.66 billion FY 2022-2031 City CIP. Nearly 35% of all net new revenue growth in the proposed operating budget is devoted to public schools. There are no proposed increases in solid waste or sanitary sewer rates, or other tax or user fee increases. The budget presented assumes that City Council will adopt the previously proposed stormwater utility fee increase that is now under consideration.
The proposed budget would reduce the real estate tax from its current rate of $1.13 to $1.11 per $100 of assessed value. Two alternative budget options have also been presented. One alternative depicts a budget of $780.6 million that would result if the real estate tax is unchanged, and services and investments are expanded. The other presents a budget of $741.7 million, which would result from a real estate tax reduction of six cents, so that the average residential tax bill does not increase, and significant service reductions.
The City Manager’s balanced budget proposal is consistent with City Council’s guidance and Strategic Plan, along with extensive input from the community and City departments. The proposal maintains the City’s commitment to attracting, retaining and supporting a diverse, talented workforce; allows most previously frozen vacant positions to be filled; restores merit increases; and contains no layoffs.
The City Manager will virtually present his proposed budget to the public on February 18, at 7 p.m. City Council will hold nine work sessions throughout the spring to review the proposed budget with City staff; a special budget public hearing on March 8; and tax rate and preliminary add/delete public hearings on April 27, before adopting the FY 2022 budget on May 5. All sessions are open to the public and will be recorded and available on the City’s website. The public may submit comments online, or speak at the public budget presentation and at public hearings.
The City Manager’s full message to City Council and details about the proposed budget, public budget presentation, public meetings and online comments, are available at alexandriava.gov/Budget.
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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/120403