The Leesburg Town Council found five votes Monday night to adopt a real estate tax rate to fund the FY2017 budget.
Councilwoman Katie Hammler put forward the motion for a rate of 18.6-cent per $100 of assessed value, below Town Manager Kaj Dentler’s proposed 18.72-cent tax rate. Hammler’s proposal was to adopt the equalized tax rate, aimed a keeping tax bills level for homeowners on average. The current town tax rate is 18.3 cents.
In addition to the equalized tax rate, Dentler had proposed factoring for inflation by adding 0.12 cents. In his February budget presentation, Dentler noted that this was the first time that the proposed tax rate included an inflation factor. The approach, he said, would better account for operating costs.
Council members Marty Martinez and Tom Dunn voted against the tax rate Monday. Dunn offered an amendment to Hammler’s motion to go to a 17.75-cent tax rate, a proposal that was not accepted by Hammler.
The 18.6-cent tax rate will require an $82,000 reduction from the proposed $94 million budget.
A budget public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday night, with hopes for a vote on the final budget package to follow. The council had previously discussed the possibility of delaying the budget vote until later in April, but it appeared Monday night there was renewed enthusiasm for adopting the budget this week.