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County Adopts FY 2013 Budget

During the vote on the budget, they approved the $1.209 tax rate, the Capital Improvement Program, and the Five Year Budget Plan.

The Prince William Board of County Supervisors adopted the FY 2013 budget this afternoon, formally approving the revenue neutral tax rate of $1.209 that they voted on in an earlier and approving the Capital Improvement Program and the Five Year Budget Plan. 

"It is important to compromise," Chairman Corey Stewart said. "This budget is not a perfect budget to anyone on this board. I would have liked to see this rate lower. But we have to come together and get things done. We're not like a legislature that can toss out random statements and run away without any responsibility." 

The county website reported that the adopted budget gave PWC the lowest tax bill and burden in Northern Virginia.

To soften the blow of a $3 million shortfall that , the board supported such measures as changing a 10 percent annual increase in employee health premiums starting in 2014 to 9 percent (which had no impact to the FY 13 budget) and reducing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act reserve by $500,000 annually to save $2 million over five years.

The board also supported deferring the debt-financed construction of Catharpin Park in Gainesville until 2016, prompting a heated response from Gainesville District Supervisor Pete Candland, who wanted both a low tax rate and the construction of the park. 

"That might not be a priority for the other members of this board, but this is what the people of Gainesville care about," Candland said, during comments that went on for several minutes.

"I could not support a half million dollars on Catharpin Park when our first priority should be schools," Woodbridge District Supervisor Frank Principi said. 

Principi, Potomac District Supervisor Maureen Caddigan and Neabsco District Supervisor John Jenkins proposed returning to the original tax rate of $1.215, but were outvoted 5-3. 

"We have the largest classroom sizes in the commonwealth. Shame on us. Our teachers are the second lowest paid teachers in the entire Commonwealth of  Virginia. Shame on us. Our investment on a per-pupil basis in education is the second lowest in this community. Shame on us," Principi said. 

The board voted to adopt the rate of $1.209, with only Candland voting nay, and Caddigan and Principi saying they had "fought the good fight," and would support the budget despite the lower tax rate. 

During citizen's time, Bonnie Klakowicz, president of the Prince William Education Association, also pleaded for the $1.215 tax rate. 

"At some point, this county is going to have to address the growth of the student population," she said. "You are kicking a can down the road."

Leo Mahoney April 24, 2012 at 10:45 PM
When I first saw the breaking news headline on the MP Patch website regarding the Real Estate tax rate of $1.209 I thought, wow - that's fantastic that the board finally lowered the rate back down to where it was before the housing crash. Then, my heart sank as I realized the article was not referring to Manassas Park but PW County. Guess we have to continue paying the same RE tax rate ($1.67) which ensures we are paying the same amount of annual tax as when our homes were worth twice as much. M.P. Governing Board: the amount of money put toward QOL over the past decade has obviously put the City in a credit unworthy position financially as evident by the quadruple notch municipal bond rating decrease by S&P last year. The teenagers want their skateboard park back, but instead we spent $3.5 million dollars to build a new Rec Center that isn't even coming close to breaking even. Still wondering what the heck is going on with the vacant commercial retail space at the City Town Center, and the dollars spent on all other infrastructure (police, fire, schools, etc.). Not sure what the orange "eye in the sky" is at the intersection of West Carondelet and Manassas Drive, but am curious how much it cost. I guess someone forgot the KISS principle. Please just maintain the roads, provide basic services and lower the RE Tax rate as your #1 priority. Recommendation: fiscal austerity, city auctions, and at last resort: annexation back to the County...which, may already be a fait accompli.
GVTaxpayerDown April 28, 2012 at 02:34 PM
The bottom line is that taxes are killing family budgets, and this Board just keeps jacking up spending. It needs to end. All of us should be grateful to Sup. Candland for standing up to these so-called Republicans. I hope he can keep up the fight.

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