Direction to the Manager
for Preparation of FY 2015 Budget
The County Board directs the County Manager to prepare a FY 2015 budget that reflects current economic conditions, while honoring the County’s vision and legacy. Specifically, the FY 2015 budget must, at a minimum, fund services that protect the health and safety of our residents, continue our investments in affordable housing and environmental sustainability, adequately support our excellent public schools, and ensure a safety net for those in need.
Should either the local, state or national economic forecast change significantly prior to budget submission, the County Manager will update the Board and the community in a timely manner on potential near- and long-term financial impacts that may need to be factored into FY15 budget discussions.
In developing her Proposed FY 2015 Budget, the County Manager is directed to:
- Present a balanced budget that assumes no increase in tax rates and no greater than two percent growth in expenditures over the adopted FY 2014 budget. Proposed expenditure or service enhancements that are fully offset by fee revenue are excluded from the two percent budget growth limitation.
- Ensure Arlington Public Schools enrollment growth operating costs are covered and build the budget using the County/School revenue allocation reflected in the FY 2014 budget (54.4% County / 45.6% Schools). Given the current tax rate and current projected assessment growth, a minimum of $12.5M of projected new revenue will be available to APS for FY 2015.*
- Ensure that the budget provides for long-term financial sustainability.
- Preserve the County’s high grade bond ratings.
- Fully fund all debt, lease and other contractual commitments including those “subject to appropriation” in the base budget.
- Eliminate duplication and inefficiencies.
The County Manager shall also provide an impact assessment, including the extent to which tax rates would have to increase, were the County to maintain services at the adopted FY 2014 budgeted level.
* In addition, based on the November 19, 2013 County Board FY 2013 closeout actions regarding one-time funds, APS will have $3.9M in unanticipated tax revenue and $2M in unspent school operating funds available to support their FY 2015 budget as well as $4.4M of unanticipated bond premium revenue that is legally required to be spent on capital costs.