The Fiscal Year 2016-2017 (FY 17) budget for the general county and fiscal agencies adopted by the Frederick County Board of Supervisors on April 13, 2016 is now online. This fiscal year will run from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017.
The FY 2016-2017 budget was adopted on April 13, 2016.
PUBLIC HEARING - MARCH 23, 2016
The public hearing for the FY 2016-2017 proposed budget was held on Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 7:00 P.M. in the Board of Supervisors meeting room at 107 North Kent Street, Winchester, Virginia. Click here to view the proposed budget as advertised in the Winchester Star on March 14, 2016. Twenty-eight citizens spoke before the Board of Supervisors speaking on topics including support of the tax increase, opposition to the tax increase, and support of various non-profit agencies. Click here to view the County Administrator's budget public hearing presentation.
Documents distributed at work session can be viewed by clicking on the date of the work session below.
- February 29, 2016 - This work session was focused on determining what tax rate to advertise for the budget/tax rate public hearing scheduled for later this month. The County Administrator again presented a proposed budget, with 2 options, based on an eight cent real estate tax rate increase. When it comes to tax rate adoption, the Board of Supervisors can adopt a rate lower than what was advertised, but by Virginia Code, the rate adopted cannot be higher than the rate advertised. Several Board members were concerned about advertising a higher tax rate than any were willing to adopt. Advertising a rate increase as high as 10 or 12 cents was discussed but ultimately the majority of board members agreed to advertise with an eight cent tax increase. This means that the advertised real estate tax rate will be $0.64 per $100.
It was also agreed that the transient occupancy tax will be advertised at 2.5%, a 0.5% increase.
The FY 2017 Budget/Tax Rate Public Hearing is scheduled for March 23, 2016 at 7:00 P.M.
- February 24, 2016 - The County Administrator distributed a worksheet recommending an eight cent real estate tax increase to balance the FY 2017 budget. The eight cent increase would generate $6.4 million in additional revenue and assist in funding six deputies, seven firefighters, one assistant county attorney, one assistant commonwealth attorney, and one human resource specialist. This would also give the School Board an additional $4 million to go towards school operating and school debt.
It was agreed that the personal property tax on airplanes would remain at $0.01 versus increasing to the proposed rate of $1.00.
The Board of Supervisors will deliberate on Monday, February 29 whether to advertise for the budget public hearing at the recommended eight cent real estate tax increase.
- February 22, 2016 - This work session focused on various budget balancing options provided by the County Administrator. These options were provided in a spreadsheet outlining budget request reductions to balance the budget with a 6, 8, 10, or 12 cent real estate tax increase. The spreadsheet also included a proposal to increase the personal property tax on airplanes from $0.01 to $1.00. It was determined that if the County were to fund all of the School requests with 57% of the local tax revenue, a real estate tax increase of 36 cents would be needed.
A County capital list was also provided to show the critical needs for the General Fund.
The County Administrator will present her tax rate increase recommendation at the budget work session on February 24.
- February 10, 2016 - Discussions at this budget work session centered on possible real estate tax rate increases to help fund the budget needs for FY 2017. Several graphs were shared with the Board of Supervisors and Finance Committee including a graph showing real estate tax rates of fifteen surrounding and similar sized localities. On this chart, Frederick County's tax rate of $0.56 is the lowest. Another chart displayed the median income of the same fifteen localities. Frederick County places ninth lowest on this chart. Other tables shared were the bonded debt per capita in Frederick County and also a comparison of Frederick County merits to Social Security and CPI increases.
The County Administrator then shared her spreadsheet outlining possible solutions to balance the FY 2017 budget including a six cent, eight cent, and ten cent increase to the real estate tax rate. These increases would still require $20-$23 million in General Fund reductions and $11-$13 million reduction to the General Fund transfer to the Schools.
The meeting focus then changed to outside agency funding. A chart was provided detailing contributions to outside agencies in past years plus requests for FY 2017. Board members showed interest in delving into this detail further with either hearing presentations from the agencies or having each board member note which agencies they would like to have more information regarding their request.
- February 3, 2016 -This budget work session primarily focused on the funding of capital requests. It was the consensus of the Board to advertise for a public hearing to appropriate $7 million from unassigned fund balance to address capital needs of both the Schools ($4 million) and the County General Fund ($3 million). School capital requests that have been identified by the School Board would need to be completed during the Summer of 2016.
A local revenue history and projection was also provided to detail how the FY 2017 local revenue projections were developed. A position allocation chart for County (non-school) positions was provided to assist in analyzing the new position requests for FY 2017. The HR Committee will be hearing brief presentations from the departments that requested new positions later this month.
The Budget Worksession immediately following the February 17, 2016 Finance Committee meeting has been canceled and will be rescheduled.
- January 20, 2016 - FY 2017 General Fund revenues and expenditures, including capital and new positions, were presented and outlined by the County Administrator at this work session. Budget funding scenarios were also presented and discussed briefly. More in-depth funding scenario discussion will take place at the February 3, 2016 budget work session.
Budget Q & A
The general fund budget provides for the daily operations of the county government and is funded with local, state and federal revenue. Local revenue contributes to the majority of funding to general fund. Expenditures in the general fund budget include government administration, judicial administration, public safety, public works, health and welfare, parks and recreation, community development , transfers to the various school funds, and transfers to the airport and jail operating fund.
The Board of Supervisors adopts a total county budget that includes funding for school operating, school capital, school debt service, school food service, and school related regional programs. The budget resolution is adopted by the Board of Supervisors by fund totals and does not allocate funding at program level. The county elected School Board is responsible for funding levels by programs and services.