Leesburg Council Adopts 18.6-Cent Tax Rate

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.

2 thoughts on “Leesburg Council Adopts 18.6-Cent Tax Rate

  • 2016-04-12 at 6:57 am

    Want to watch dysfunctional government in action? Just attend a Dave Butler Interim Mayor meeting or work session.

  • 2016-04-13 at 12:58 pm

    In years past, the Council would handle the budget using a calendar similar to the Board of Supervsors (1) Town manager introduces budget at the last meeting in February , primarily because that’s when the County gets the tax assessments. (2) Council would hold either a series of work sessions or all-day session with staff, much like the Board of Supervisors (3) Tax rate hearing would be the first meeting in March (Tuesday night, not Monday night) (4) budget hearing , last Tuesday of the month. (5) adoption, first meeting in April (2nd Tuesday). I suppose that due to the various changes on the Council, maybe that’s why they are doing it in this crazy way, but for the sake of argument, let’s be real. First, the County and town allow people to pay their real property taxes twice a year and the fiscal year starts for both on July 1. second, The County Treasurer and Town finance people do not need their money for the next fiscal year in hand until maybe the 3rd week of June. However, for as long as the County has gone to a semi-annual tax payment, the Board of Supervisors and the Towns are in this crunch situation where they feel they have to adopt their tax rates in early April. They can give the property tax payers until June 20 to pay their bills, meaning the bills don’t need to go into the mail until mid May. Third, given the increased complexity of issues and budgeting in this County, would it not behoove the governing bodies to set their tax rates in mid or late April and give them a little more time to look at the numbers? I, for one, feel that giving the School Board more time than 30 days in January to review its budget and CIP would go a long way. With computers and automation the way it is, it should not take weeks to get out tax bills like it used to. However, we still do not give our elected officials enough time to review these budgets, in my opinion. But the way the Council handled this year’s town budget is truly unbelievable by adopting their tax rate on a Monday night and budget the next night. Wierd.

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