Alexandria City Council Adopts $624.8M Fiscal Year 2014 Budget
- The General Fund Operating Budget is $624.8 million, an increase of 6.3% from Fiscal Year 2013.
- The calendar year 2013 property tax rate increased to $1.038 per $100 of assessed value, or 4.0 cents, which funds increased operating costs and a strengthened commitment to the Capital Improvement Program budget.
- The Alexandria City Public Schools transfer increased by about $6.1 million.
On May 6, the Alexandria City Council voted unanimously to adopt a $624.8 million General Fund Operating Budget for the fiscal year (FY) 2014, which begins July 1, 2013. The budget addresses a $31 million budget gap by balancing revenue increases with expenditure reductions, while aligning with the City’s Strategic Plan. The real estate tax rate increased 4.0 cents to $1.038 per $100 of assessed value, and the vehicle personal property tax increased to $5 per $100 of assessed value. The additional revenue will be used to fund Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS), capital investments, aquatics and transit expansion and improvements.
The average calendar year 2013 residential real estate tax bill, including the rate change and average increased assessed value, will be $314 greater than 2012.
"The budget approved tonight is a vote for Alexandria's future," said Mayor William D. Euille. "Our city still faces financial challenges, and this budget--including the 4.0 cent tax rate increase--reflects the need to not only maintain our present, but to build our future. This budget cuts costs, supports operational needs and the education of our children. It invests in improvement and expansion of our transit system and in current and future capital needs, including schools, aquatics, and infrastructure, which have long been delayed and underfunded. Our vote tonight ensures the future vitality of our great city."
The Capital Improvement Program includes a total $1.23 billion in capital investment over the next 10 years; prioritizing ACPS capacity needs, aquatics, fire equipment and apparatus, facility maintenance, and transportation capital investments.
The operating budget transfer to ACPS increased 3.4% ($6.1 million) from the FY 2013 approved budget.
The $37.0 million increase in the Operating Budget:
- Allocates an additional $6.1 million for public schools
- Includes $1.0 million to pay down existing debt service
- Provides an additional $6.97 million for capital projects (cash capital) from the additional 4.0 cent real estate property tax rate increase
- Provides an additional $2.5 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—a 13.6% increase
The budget also raises the residential utility tax cap to $3 per month for gas and electric, and 10 percent for commercial electric.
Council restored some items in the budget that were originally proposed for reduction or elimination. Funding for library materials was restored, and Warwick Pool, which was slated to be closed, will be open for at least one more year. The Gang Intervention, Prevention and Education program will be funded, as will the Sheriff’s car seat installation program.
The City’s employee benefits plans have been redesigned in an effort to better control long-term costs and ensure financial sustainability, and to pay for a full merit increase for City employees. Additional investments have been made in career ladders as part of the City Manager’s pay for performance philosophy.
To learn more about the entire budget process, visit alexandriava.gov/Budget.