Hemstreet to Unveil Budget Proposal Tonight

Loudoun County Administrator Tim Hemstreet will unveil his proposal for Loudoun County’s first pandemic-era budget tonight at 5 p.m.

Budget serves as a starting point not only for county supervisors’ deliberations on what the county government will be able to do in the next year, but also for their deliberations on setting a real estate tax rate to pay for it. And Hemstreet is expected to introduce a tax rate proposal lower than previously discussed in the boardroom in January, thanks to continued fluctuations in property assessments.

Currently, the real estate tax rate is $1.035 per $100 of assessed value. In January, supervisors directed Hemstreet to prepare a budget a penny above the equalized tax rate, the rate at which the average tax bill dollar amount stays the same despite changing property values, with options included in his proposal to add or lower the tax rate by a penny from there.

During the pandemic, however, commercial real estate values have not kept up with residential property values, meaning homeowners’ bills will climb faster and leaving them to pick up some of the weight of slumping commercial property tax bills.

At the time, the overall equalized rate was $1.015; supervisors directed a budget prepared at a tax rate of $1.025. But as revenue projections continue to improve from county budget staff’s cautious early projections, the county has placed a required legal notice with a tax rate no higher than $1.01.

If Hemstreet’s proposal is a penny less than that, at $1 per $100 of assessed value, it will be the lowest absolute rate since 2008, the last time the tax rate was below a dollar—although climbing property values will mean tax bills may be bigger.

County budget staff previewed some of that budget Tuesday night, when they gave the board’s finance committee a brief overview of the proposed capital budget. While transportation projects remain the biggest expense in the six year capital plan, with schools coming in second, they are slowly tapering back down from supervisors’ years-long push to improve the state’s failing road infrastructure.

3 thoughts on “Hemstreet to Unveil Budget Proposal Tonight

  • 2021-02-10 at 4:33 pm

    Why not publish the percentage Loudoun is already above what the rest of Virginia pays? It was 39% last year.

    Why not publish that this BOS never even asked the school board how much of the last year budget was saved by all the closed school savings? It was millions! (diesel not burned, assistant teachers not teaching, food not purchased or cooked , utilities, security not needed for closed building etc, etc)

    Why not publish all the taxes the BOS chooses to not collect from commercial enterprises which do no charitable work but are categorized as non-profits? 10’s of millions

    Why not list all the large parcels which have already asked for development approval, completed wells and septic approvals which raises their market value but the assessments still make believe it is just raw land or perhaps even in a land use category obviating any reasonable property tax payments?

  • 2021-02-10 at 4:45 pm

    So, from what the BoS is saying, LoCo is losing money because the data centers are not generating enough revenue? Even if their value is not improving as much as residential real estate, those seriously unattractive buildings are generating a ton of revenue and as for property values improving, I am not seeing where that’s coming from because my assessment has been close to flat compared to friends of mine who live in the Vienna, Ballston, and Reston.
    It’s real simple-stop spending, period! Stop growth; we don’t need 20 more subdivisions in Loudoun County. In fact, if there was a way to sell the part of LoCo that is on the other side of 28 to Fairfax, we should do so. 28 makes a beautiful boundary. Of course, I would hate for the Regal Cinema with the reclining sofa seats to belong to Fairfax County. If it did, I would probably never go there again.
    Also, stop crushing the homeowners with onerous taxes and make those millionaires who live out in horse country pay more taxes on the raw land acreage that they own. Once again, the hardworking homeowner gets raked over the coals by the BoS and those who indulge in the Sport of Kings get over. Stop spending and stop letting every Tom, Dick, and Harry developer come in here and put up these unwanted houses. A neighborhood down the road from me stands a good chance of having its value destroyed because of a coming development that’s about 2 years out. This development will placate those who are not bringing years of hard work into Loudoun County. It’s is allowing the “I want it now and I don’t want to have to work and wait like my parents did” crowd to settle near established subdivisions that will eventually turn Loudoun County into a place where people will no longer want to live while they relax in their later years.

  • 2021-02-10 at 9:33 pm

    Can we get some comments from Mr Hemstreet on the saving from shutting down Loudoun schools for almost a year? Certainly that must be taken into consideration. Hundreds of busses and drivers parked for almost 12 months. What kind of saving will be realized?

    Can we also ask him why Loudoun homeowners have to pick up the slack for slumping commercial properties? Our elected officials shut down the businesses and now you want the residential sector to pay for it via real estate taxes?

    Also, LCPS is hiring proctors so sit in classrooms and monitor hybrid students that will attending 2 days a week. The teachers will be at home while our kids will be in class which, of course, is still distance learning.

    What kind of budget hit will Loudoun take paying all the teachers and a large number of proctors?

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