Written By: Prince William County
The Prince William Board of County Supervisors adopted the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Budget during the meeting on Tuesday, April 26, 2022. The adopted budget advances the county’s strategic priorities by investing in education, health and wellbeing initiatives for the most vulnerable, public safety staffing, support of local businesses, environmental and sustainability initiatives, and the parks and transportation referendum projects approved by the community. The adopted budget also funds debt service and technology operating costs derived from the county’s Capital Improvement Program.
In an effort to fund these investments while mitigating the impact on residents of higher home values, the Board reduced the real estate tax rate from $1.115 to $1.03 per $100 of assessed value, while also reducing the fire levy rate from $0.08 to $0.075 per $100 of assessed value. This results in the average residential real estate tax bill increase of $189 ($172 from the real estate tax and $17 from the fire levy). The adopted budget increases the business tangible computer and peripheral tax rate by $0.15 to $1.65 per $100 of assessed value and implements a four percent meals tax.
To help mitigate the impact to residents of recent and temporary appreciation in automobile values, the Board also reduced the vehicle assessment ratio. The 2022 personal property tax assessment of vehicles will utilize an 80 percent ratio against the assessed value according to the National Automobile Dealers (NADA) pricing guide.
“I am a supporter of this budget because we continue to move towards diversifying our tax base and investing in our community in a way that truly meets the needs of our residents,” said Chair-At-Large Ann Wheeler. “This budget advances the county’s strategic priorities, as well as several Board directives, to include establishing a crisis receiving center and trauma treatment program for mental health services and developing and implementing a community energy master plan. It also shows a commitment to our employees by investing in employee compensation.”
The adopted FY2023 budget maintains the Board’s commitment to its strategic priorities as follows:
Quality Education and Workforce Development – Support for K-12 education continue with the county/schools revenue-sharing agreement, which provides 57.23 percent of general revenue to Prince William County Schools. The FY2023 Budget provides the schools with $715.1 million, which is an increase in the local transfer to the schools by $59.3 million, or 9 percent more than FY2022.
Health, Wellbeing & Human Services – The adopted FY2023 Budget provides resources to reduce client waitlists in mental health, substance abuse, developmental disability, and emergency services programs. It also includes Social Services staffing to address benefits eligibility and childcare applications and renewals, in addition to providing hypothermia homeless services in partnership with community non-profit organizations. The budget also provides contractual funding for psychiatric services at the crisis receiving center for adult clients experiencing a behavioral health crisis.
Safe & Secure Community – The adopted FY2023 Budget supports a police civilianization plan, which will enable sworn staff positions currently performing administrative duties to serve in patrol or other assignments directly serving the community. Additional Commonwealth’s Attorney staffing is also provided to address felony, misdemeanor, and traffic case workloads. The budget provides resources for the Circuit Court, Sheriff, and Clerk to the Circuit Court to support a new Circuit Court judge, which is funded by the state. It also includes funding for new Sheriff deputies and telecommunicators in the Office of Public Safety Communications.
Resilient Economy – The county continues to provide grants to small businesses recovering from the pandemic through the Restore Retail Grant program and Ignite 2.0 program to assist high-growth startups. The adopted FY2023 Budget provides the staffing resources to increase capacity in the county’s Targeted Industry Program, which provides expedited plan review for qualifying projects.
Environmental Conservation – The adopted FY2023 Budget includes funding to begin implementing action strategies contained in the Community Energy Master Plan, once the plan is developed by the Sustainability Commission and approved by the Board. The budget also includes increased funding for constructing drainage improvements and restoring streams consistent with state and federal water quality mandates.
Transportation & Mobility – The adopted FY2023 Budget provides the resources necessary to advance mobility projects included in the November 2019 bond referendum. The budget also maintains the Transportation Roadway Improvement Program, which funds mobility projects such as sidewalks, trails, and safety improvements in the county. Virginia Railway Express and Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission transit services are also sustained in the adopted budget.
For more information about the budget, visit www.pwcva.gov/budget.