It begins. On September 18th the Board of Supervisors directed the county administrator to prepare the proposed FY2017 budget at two options: the current real property tax rate ($1.135) and the estimated equalized real property tax rate ($1.115). With the current LCPS estimate for its budget, there is a projected gap of $59.6 million at the current tax rate or $69.4 million at the lowered tax rate.
At A Glance
- Preliminary LCPS forecast needing an additional $77.8M in local funding
- The increase is due not only to additional new enrollment but also because of forecast step increases, other compensation, VRS retirement benefits, healthcare, and the transportation fleet
- The LCPS forecast does not include cost for full day kindergarten expansion, technology, or further reductions to class size
- The LCPS forecast is not a budget
- The Superintendent's presentation of the FY2017 budget to the School Board is on January 7, 2016
The LCPS forecast and potential tax rates were discussed at the Finance Committee meeting on September 8. “These numbers are a little scary but they have been a little scary at this stage in the process in years past. It looks like we may have a greater challenge this year because of the fund balance situation,” said Supervisor Matt Letourneau (Dulles). “We will work through it. In any case, these are the two scenarios that we should move forward on and the board can make adjustments as needed.”
Loudoun County Administrator Tim Hemstreet responded, “Traditionally, what has happened at this stage we believe that revenues have been estimated conservatively and expenditures are being estimated conservatively. Typically, what happens is those numbers get closer as we get farther into the process … At some point, I would say probably November or December, if the gaps not closing I’m going to have to come back and ask you if we keep the revenue guidance, what areas do you want us to pursue reductions in, or is it across the board, or do you want us to target certain areas, how do you want to do that. But traditionally the numbers will narrow before we are at that point.”
The final decisions on the LCPS budget and local funding will be made by the newly elected School Board and Board of Supervisors in the coming year.
LCPS Forecast Expenditures
School Board Received FY17 Fiscal Outlook – August 11, 2015 FY17 Preliminary Outlook Memo, http://www.lcps.org/Page/155948
School Board Received FY17 Fiscal Outlook – August 11, 2015 FY17 Preliminary Outlook Memo,
Board of Supervisors FGSO Committee Meeting, 09/08/15, FGSOC Item 15 Preliminary Budget Guidance, http://www.loudoun.gov/index.aspx?NID=3430
Loudoun County School Board Budget Calendar
Loudoun County School Board Meeting, September 8, 2015, Agenda Item 2.08, School Board Calendar for the Development of the Fiscal Year 2017 School Board Operating Budget, http://www.boarddocs.com/vsba/loudoun/Board.nsf/Public