- On February 14, Alexandria City Manager Rashad Young proposed a $585.6 million General Fund Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2013.
- The proposed operating budget includes no tax rate increases of any kind, and maintains core services (education, public safety, public infrastructure and transportation) without making major reductions in other service areas.
- The Capital Improvement Program proposes $1.1 billion in capital investment over the next 10 years, prioritizing maintenance of existing facilities and infrastructure, and providing funding for a new Fire Station in Eisenhower Valley.
- The proposed budget General Fund tax rate will remain at 99.8 cents per $100 of assessed value. The City’s real estate tax base grew by 3.4%; on a calendar year basis, the average homeowner would pay approximately 1.2% or $52 more than last year, which is less than the rate of inflation.
In the proposed budget, total spending increases by 3.3% ($18.7 million) from the Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 approved budget. Within that budget, the operating budget transfer to the Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) would also increase by 3.3% ($5.8 million) from last year’s approved budget, in keeping with the City Council’s guidance that the transfer to the Schools for operating expenses increases at the same percentage rate as total General Fund revenues. The budget for City operations increases 2.7% ($8.5 million). The FY 2013 budget reflects the guidance set by the public and City Council in the Strategic Plan adopted in June 2010, and the specific budget guidance provided by City Council last November. As part of closing a $14.4 million funding gap identified last fall, about $6.8 million was cut from the City’s budget, including 27 City positions.
“The proposed budget—built using the City’s strategic plan to guide our decisions and shaped by City Council’s guidance—maintains Alexandria’s core services without making major reductions in other service areas,” said City Manager Rashad Young. “City government will continue to deliver efficient and effective services to the community as we continue to emerge from the tough economic times of the last several years.”
Core services to maintain, and in limited cases, expand, are education, public safety, transportation, and public infrastructure.
The $18.7 million increase in the City Manager’s proposed budget:
- Allocates an additional $5.8 million for public schools (an increase of 3.3% from last year’s approved budget), which slightly exceeds the amount requested by the Schools Superintendent.
- Provides an additional $5.6 million for the Fire Police, Sheriff, and Emergency Communications departments. This amount includes funding to prepare for the opening of a new Fire Station and represents a collective 4.7% increase for the four public safety departments.
- Provides an additional $2.6 million (a 4.4% increase) in support of the Capital Improvement program (CIP) and maintenance of public infrastructure.
- Provides an additional $1.8 million for increased operating support for transit operations, including funds for the regional Metrorail and bus systems, and for the City’s local DASH bus system—an 11.1% increase.
City Council will host six work sessions to review the proposed budget with City staff, and two work sessions to make final decisions. These sessions are open to the public and will be recorded and posted online. The public may submit comments online, or speak at a budget public hearing on Monday, March 5, at 4 p.m. and a tax rate public hearing on Saturday, April 14, at 9:30 a.m. The Operating Budget and Capital Improvement Program are scheduled for adoption by the Alexandria City Council on May 7, 2012. Details about the public meetings, proposed budget, and online comments are located at alexandriava.gov/Budget.
For more information, contact Tony Castrilli, Director of Communications, Office of Communications, at 703.888.7166 or firstname.lastname@example.org.