The six western Loudoun towns tend to start their budget deliberations later than either the county or the Town of Leesburg, but they’re gearing up.
The county’s second largest town with a population heading for 9,000 will hold its first budget meeting March 15, with successive council work sessions scheduled for March 29 and March 31. Town Manager Robert W. Lohr Jr. is proposing a two-cent hike on the real estate tax rate from 22 cents per $100 of property value to 24 cents. The council raised the tax last year from 21 cents. The town’s Parks and Recreation tax is recommended to stay at 3.5 cents and the meals tax at five percent.
The town will kick off its deliberations Thursday when Town Manager Laszlo Palko will present his budget and capital improvements plan recommendations to the Town Council. The council will discuss those options in a special council budget work session March 31. Talks will continue April 7 and 14. The council will discuss taxes, fees and water and sewer rates on April 14. A public hearing is scheduled for May 19. The council is expected to adopt its budget and CIP on June 2, well ahead of the June 30 deadline.
Palko urged residents to speak to any issues of concern during those listed meetings. He is not proposing any change to the town’s 21 cent real estate tax rate, or any other town taxes.
Mayor Roger Vance said the town, one of the smallest municipalities in Virginia, would begin looking at its FY 2017 budget this month.
“We’ll be at the draft stage at our next meeting in a couple of weeks,” Vance said Monday.
The council will hold a work session in April on the budget, following information gathering this month, Vance said. He does not plan any change in the real estate tax, although how the town will finance its ambitious plans for water provision throughout Hillsboro is still to be determined, probably at the end of the year, he said.
The town’s real estate tax is 6 cents per $100 of assessed value.
Town Treasurer Lori Jones said she and Finance Committee Chairman John Unger held their first budget planning meeting on Monday.
At their March 14 meeting, Town Council members will set the date for a budget workshop session before its regular April 11 meeting—at which a public hearing will be held. The town’s current real estate tax rate is 28 cents per $100 of assessed value.
The Round Hill Town Council has held one budget work session, and plans to continue most Thursdays through April. So far, the council has considered only its utility budget, with the General Fund set for future deliberations. So far, town leaders are not contemplating any increase in the 18-cent real estate tax rate.
Town Administrator Martha Semmes plans to present her first draft General Fund budget to the Town Council on Thursday. Semmes said the council normally works on budget issues at the regular council sessions and also at special work sessions on every second and fourth Thursdays through May. Semmes said she does not envision any change to the town’s 17-cent real estate tax rate.