Michael J. DeMarco

Thoughts on Proposed 2016 Budget Tax Increase

My Review of 2016 Proposed Budgeted Tax Rate and Comments:

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March 8, 2015

Mayor, Council, City Manager, Director of Finance,
I am very sorry that I will miss the meetings on Monday and Tuesday this week. My apologies to all.
Some thoughts on the budget.  I understand the challenges given the county contracts, capital needs and other non-controllable expenditures that we are facing.  But given the economic climate and considering what other jurisdictions are doing this year, our objective should be to keep the tax rate flat at $1.04.  I am OK with setting the tax rate for discussion at something higher like $1.05, but believe we need to settle at $1.04.  I know this limits us in what we can do this year and pushes out some capital items to next year and beyond, but I do believe we are on the verge of capturing incremental activity based revenue and commercial revenue over the next few years which will help these ongoing pressures we face.
Capital funds to consider delaying or reducing:
Schools, G18, orchestra pit, -$45,000, +1 year out
General, G24, property yard, -$120,000, +1 year out
Parks, G44, parks, -$50,000, +1 year out
Transportation, G59, entrance signs, -$31,000, +1 out
Transportation, G75, street repaving, -$300,000, reduction back to $1,800,000
Based on 43.6% of our expenditures being controllable, and based on this reduction in capital expenditures of $546,000, this would require a reduction of $871,915 in general expenditures to keep our tax rate flat year-over-year.
To get $871,915 would require a 1.6% decrease in controllable general expenditures to be determined by the City Manager and Department Heads. Of course this requirement would be reduced if we receive a favorable school contract number or if we find other capital expenditure reductions.
Some general expenditure items that I identified that seem like they can be reduced are as follows:
City Council, -$3,000
Electoral board, -$20,000
IT, -$100,000
Special events, -$25,000
This could be $148,000 of the $871,915 needed in general expenditures reduction to keep us at $1.04.
Again, I apologize for my absence but hope you can reflect my comments in your discussions.
Michael J. DeMarco
City Council
michael.demarco@fairfaxva.gov

2 thoughts on “Thoughts on Proposed 2016 Budget Tax Increase

  1. Bob Reinsel the elder

    thank you for posting your thoughts.
    I have used a bigger ax but it seems to me that putting street and storm water back on the staff to figurout would be good management rather than have the Council micro manage the CIP.. GIive them the manage ment responsibility.. They really have it anyhow and can shift budget from one CIP item to another.
    Bob the elder

    1. shannonduffy Post author

      Thanks Bob. I don’t disagree. I like to identify some items that I think can be pushed out and/or reduced and then ask the City Manager and Department Heads to find additional cuts. In this case I’m asking them to find 1.6% in additional reductions to the items I listed.

      Michael DeMarco

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