Leesburg Proposed Fiscal Year 2024 Budget and Six-Year Capital Improvements Program Presented to Town Council


Leesburg Proposed Fiscal Year 2024 Budget and Six-Year Capital Improvements Program Presented to Town Council

Post Date:02/14/2023 9:08 AM
FY 24 Budget CoverLeesburg, VA (February 14, 2023)– The proposed Fiscal Year 2024 Budget and Six-Year Capital Improvements Program was presented to the Town Council Monday night. The proposed General Fund budget totals $77.9 million. The entire proposed budget, including the General Fund, the Capital Projects Fund, and the Utilities Fund, is $157.5 million.

The proposed budget is built on a real property tax rate of 17.74 cents per $100 of assessed value, the same tax rate that was adopted for the current fiscal year. With 2023 assessments on existing residential properties in Leesburg up from 2022, the average homeowner’s real property tax bill will increase $5.42 per month, or $65 annually. The equalized rate, or the rate at which the Town would receive the same amount as last year’s real property tax revenue from existing properties, is 16.53 cents.

In a statement, Leesburg Town Manager Kaj Dentler said, “The proposed 17.74 cent tax rate will fund increases of the base budget due to inflation and fund additional compensation forour Leesburg Police Department officers and dispatchers. A key goal for this budget was to ensure we are remaining competitive for public safety careers in this region in light of an intense job market for talent.”

The enhancements proposed by Dentler address a general theme of sustainability, not just in terms of retaining and attracting Town government staff, but also in ensuring Town operations can keep pace with agrowing population. The key enhancements to the Proposed 2024 General Fund budget include:

  • $873,000 in compensation increases and ancillary benefits for the Leesburg Police Department;
  • $129,500 for the creation of a full-time Information Technology position for the Leesburg Police Department, to provide redundant coverage of the 24/7/365 operation;
  • $129,500 for the creation of an Industrial Safety Coordinator/Risk Management position, with 60% of the position funded through the Utilities Fund and the remaining 40% from the General Fund; and
  • $349,600 for two additional Parks Maintenance/Groundskeeper positions, along with necessary equipment, in support of the opening of Veterans Park, which is an 86-acre park along the Potomac River that the Town acquired in 2000.

The proposed 6-Year Capital Improvements Program (CIP) for Fiscal Years 2024-2029 totals $415.5 million and includes 82 projects. The proposed budget includes adjusted schedules for several capital projects to ensure the Town meets its fiscal policy of maintaining an Unassigned Fund Balance of at least 20% of General Fund expenditures each year of the 6-year period. This adjustment was necessary not only due to inflation, but also due to the Police Station Expansion, which is slated for construction this fall, and the Public Works Town Shop Expansion, which is currently under design. The current police station opened in 1997 and the current Town Shop opened in 1989.

The proposed Utilities Fund budget for Fiscal Year 2024 totals $40.6 million, including $11.1 million in capital projects. This proposed budget represents the final year of the adopted 5-year rate plan. Town staff will begin work on a new 5-year rate plan later this year.

The proposed personal property tax rates remain unchanged from the current year.

The Town Council will hold three work sessions to review and discuss the proposed budget and Capital Improvements Program, as well as a public hearing to receive resident and taxpayer feedback. In addition, the Council will hold a separate public hearing on the proposed Fiscal Year 2024 real estate tax rate.

The budget review and adoption schedule is:

  • Monday, February 27, 7 p.m. Budget Work Session
  • Tuesday, February 28, 7 p.m. Personal Property Tax Rate Public Hearing and Adoption
  • Monday, March 13, 7 p.m. Budget Work Session
  • Tuesday, March 14, 7 p.m. Budget Public Hearing
  • Monday, March 27, 7 p.m. Budget Work Session
  • Tuesday, March 28, 7 p.m. Real Estate Tax Rate Public Hearing and Tax Rate and Budget Adoption