Proposed Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Looks to Post-Pandemic Future – Official Arlington County Virginia Government Site
Posted on February 12, 2022
County Executive Mark Schwartz’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2023 begins to look beyond the COVID-19 pandemic with a focus on the county’s workforce, affordable housing, schools and the environment.
In total, the proposal details $1.47 billion in General Fund spending, an increase of 5.5% from fiscal year 2022. The budget is based on a 3.4% growth in property valuations and 7% growth in overall tax revenue. The proposed budget does not include any changes to current property tax rates.
Although revenues are recovering, some revenue sources remain uncertain, such as hotel taxes and non-tax revenue such as parking meters, which Schwartz says the county will continue to monitor.
“After nearly two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, our community and county staff have shown resilience and our commitment to community service remains unwavering,” said County Executive Mark Schwartz. “As such, this budget prioritises county services and programs important to our community, while investing in our workforce, which has not seen meaningful merit pay increases for two years. .”
Investing in Community Priorities
The proposed budget for fiscal year 2023 is the result of months of study, evaluation and public comment on how best to invest available revenues. Core investments in the proposed budget include:
- Affordable housing: The budget focuses on continuing to prevent evictions and increasing housing assistance, with $14.3 million in housing subsidies and the addition of $588,000 (for a total of $3.4 million). dollars) to permanent supportive housing. The budget also includes $23 million in federal funding for Housing Choice Vouchers and $16.9 million for the Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF).
- Environment: The budget includes new investments of more than $4.4 million to deliver energy and climate-resilient programs to combat climate change. This includes $1 million for an Arlington CEP (Community Energy Plan) action fund to seize opportunities to impact climate change. These investments could include additional electrification of county vehicles, energy efficiency projects and advancing the community energy plan.
- Compensation of employees: To improve retention and recruitment, this year’s budget includes merit increases of 4.25% for general employees and 6.5% for uniformed employees. The budget also includes a 3% increase in the minimum and maximum compensation levels and a one-time bonus of $1,600 gross. Funding is also included to begin implementing the Collective Bargaining Ordinance.
- Public Safety: This will be the first full year of the Fire Department’s Kelly Day, which has increased staffing levels to allow firefighters to work a 50-hour week instead of 56 hours, helping us stay competitive in the region. The budget also includes funding to implement recommendations from the Policing Practices Group, including maintaining the Community Oversight Council and supporting crisis response.
- Schools: A transfer of $576 million from the county to Arlington Public Schools, an increase of $46 million from fiscal year 2022.
After the manager submits his budget proposal, Arlington County Council will vote on an announced tax rate on Tuesday, Feb. 15. The board will review the proposed budget and hold a series of working sessions starting in early March. The county council will hold a budget hearing on March 29and and a tax rate hearing on March 31st. You can participate in person or virtually. To register to speak, visit the County Council’s webpage. The final vote on the FY2023 operating budget is scheduled for Saturday, April 23. The fiscal year is July 1.