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County Presents FY2012/2013 Operating and Capital Budgets to the Board of Supervisors

Public Hearing Set for February 29 at 6:00 p.m.

County Executive Tom Foley today presented his recommended FY12/13 Operating and Capital Budget to the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors.  The recommended budget totals $311,677,759 and is balanced on an equalized tax rate of 76.4¢, resulting in no tax increase for the average homeowner for the fourth year in a row.

“This budget meets our obligations and stresses high performance governmental practices and also invests in the County’s future in ways that we have not been able to do since the recession began while keeping taxes flat for the average homeowner,” said Foley in introducing his recommended budget.   “This investment is not in new programs or enhanced services but rather supports the future quality and availability of basic government services such as public safety which could begin to deteriorate without additional resources.”

The County’s Fiscal Year 12/13 recommended combined capital and operating budget totals $311,677,759, an increase of $7.3 million, or 2.4% when compared to FY 11/12 Adopted Budget.   This total budget includes the General Fund, Special Revenue Funds, School Fund, School Self-Sustaining Funds, Capital Funds and Debt Service Funds.   The increase in revenues is attributable to building the budget on an equalized tax rate at the direction of the Board of Supervisors coupled with modest economic recovery and the county’s enhanced efforts to collect delinquent taxes.

The General Fund Budget is where the majority of County revenues, including local tax revenues, are received and allocated to support all operations of the County including local government and schools.   General Fund expenditures increased by 3.0%, or $6.5 million, and reflect the shoring up of core county services like public safety and financial administration along with investment in providing quality core services in the future including the Ivy Fire Station, EMS service on Pantops, a police firing range and the Crozet Library.  The increase also provides additional support for the School Division. 

The overall spending priorities included in the proposed budget are highlighted below according to the goals established in development of the budget.

This budget funds obligations and commitments:

  • Meets our financial targets, including maintaining a 10% fund balance, to protect our AAA bond rating
  • Transfers 60% of new local tax revenues to the School Division based on the approved funding formula, resulting in an additional $2.2 million for school operations
  • Provides $1.2 million in increased funding for Virginia Retirement System (VRS). The vast majority of this increase is attributable to the State’s 25% increase to general government’s VRS rates 
  • Provides additional funding to meet contractual obligations for public safety agencies
  • Funds the $17.5 million revenue sharing payment to the City
  • Provides $200k to meet Line of Duty Act (LODA) obligation
  • Provides $250k in contingency funding to meet unexpected and/or emergency needs

This budget supports continued organizational transformation and sustainability:

  • Begins the process of accounting for capital project management services in an internal service fund
  • Decreases general fund transfer to CSA in response to reduced service expenditures
  • Budgets salary lapse for four positions across the organization
  • Supports core public safety needs:
    • Increases training funding for Police Department 
    • Includes increased funding for public safety personnel as a result of the FY 11/12 reclassification study
    • Provides funding for Police and Fire/Rescue recruitment initiatives
  • Supports core financial administration needs
    • Supports expanded delinquency collections efforts
    • Provides for an additional business auditor position to assist with revenue collections. The cost of this position will be offset by increased revenues
    • Provides for buyer and chief accountant positions to shore up the Finance Department as recommended by the County’s audit and the Resource Management Study
  • Restructures our agency funding approach to support core community services provided by high performing agencies 
    • Includes $100,000 decrease in funding for ABRT-reviewed agencies based on the Five-Year Plan
    • Anticipates $30k in funding will be provided to Jefferson Madison Regional Library from out of area support, resulting in a corresponding credit to the County for revenue collected
    • Provides an additional $69k per funding formula to the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau (CACVB) and shifts funding responsibility for tourism-related festivals/agencies to the CACVB

This budget invests in strategic priorities and positions the County for the future:

  •  Provides excellent educational opportunities to all Albemarle County residents
    • Provides a transfer of $99.5 million to the School Division, a increase of $2.2 million over the  amount included in the FY 11/12 Adopted Budget 
    • Provides new funding for school capital projects
  • Provides community facilities that meet existing and future needs
    • Dedicates a half cent of the equalized tax rate to capital
    • Transfer to capital and debt increases by $714k or 4.0% over FY 11/12 adopted budget
      • Funds Crozet Library and other maintenance items
  • Encourages a diverse and vibrant economy
    • Funds membership in Chamber of Commerce and Thomas Jefferson Partnership for Economic Development and maintains funding levels for Central Virginia Small Business Development Center and the Piedmont Workforce Network
    • Provides funding for the Economic Opportunity Fund 
  • Protects the County’s natural, scenic and historic resources
    • Provides Chesapeake Bay TMDL study funding in the capital budget
  • Ensures the Health and Safety of the Community
    • Provides for public safety firing range
    • Provides for EMS service at Pantops beginning in Fall 2012
    • Provides for opening of Ivy Fire Station, including staffing and apparatus, in July, 2013
  • Promotes a valued and responsive County workforce that ensures excellent customer service
    • Provides a 1% raise for employees in FY 12/13
    • Covers 25% increase in VRS obligation
    • Establishes a performance pool of $150,000
    • Increases training funds to support evolving workforce
    • No increase in employee’s health care premium 


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