Supervisors Approve Property Tax Increase

Steve’s Leesburg Blog
Tax Rate Boost Approved

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors faced with multi-million shortfalls in property taxes for the next several years has taken action to shore up the counties tax revenue stream. The board approved a 19% property tax increase. The increase will add approximately $300 to the average county homeowners tax bill.

The newly seated Democratic majority board narrowly approved a $1 billion budget plan that requires an 18-cent tax increase, raising the rate per $100 to $1.14. The plan works out to about a 6.5% increase for the new budget year starting July 1.

The unexpected drop in assessments across the county is causing a $25 million shortfall this year. The schools expect to enroll 3,000 additional students this fall. The two together drive the higher than normal increase. A major factor with the budget shortfall is the pace of growth. Although growth has slowed some since 2004, the US Census Bureau tagged the county as the fastest growing in the country then. The struggle to keep up by investing in public safety and schools have long been a high priority under both Democratic and the older Republican leadership.

The boards two Republicans and Chairman Scott K. York supported a more modest increase, but were out voted by the Democratic majority. Susan K. Buckley, Sugarland Run Democrat and Vice Chairman proposed a rate of $1.15. Her proposal would have delivered $10 million more to the school system. Even with that extra money, the school budget would have been significantly lower than the requested amount.

Steve’s Comments

This is the kind of news we have all read before, and should expect to see again. The county is and will continue to be a fast growing Washington, DC sleeping suburb. As such, when the economy is thriving all will be well, and when it slows up, budget shortfalls are going to be the staple of the day. The only thing we can actually do anything about is to try our best to pick the best managers available and then support their decisions.


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