What’s In $60.2 Million Herndon Budget

What’s In $60.2 Million Herndon Budget

Water and Sewer Funds and Downtown Parking Fund drive the majority of the 17.7 percent increase.

The Herndon Town Council adopted its FY 2019 Budget of $60,222,260, and did so with no local tax increases. File photo from 2017.

The Herndon Town Council adopted its FY 2019 Budget of $60,222,260, and did so with no local tax increases. File photo from 2017. Photo by Mercia Hobson.

Budget Highlights

SOURCE, Town of Herndon.

Maintenance of the town real estate tax, meals tax and all other tax rates at their current levels;

Continued allocation of resources to strategic capital projects, including downtown redevelopment and Metro planning;

Resources to support the development of an arts facility that will act as an economic driver for the downtown;

Implementation of a town-wide sustainability plan;

Focus on the town’s use of technology to support administration and service provision: and

Increased personnel costs to include a 1.25 percent market rate adjustment and an average pay-for-performance increase of two percent.

The Capital Improvement Program (CIP) calls for funding of longer-term projects such as Phase 5 of the Herndon Community Center, a Nature Center at Runnymede Park, vehicular and pedestrian access to Metro and Van Buren Street improvements.

The town announced its complete budget would be available online at http://www.herndo...">www.herndon-va.gov by July 1.

Following two public hearings and after receiving input from citizens online and in person, the Herndon Town Council adopted a balanced FY 2019 budget of $60,222,260 for all funds (General Fund, Water and Sewer Fund, Golf Course Fund, Chestnut Grove Cemetery Fund, Downtown Parking Enterprise Fund and the Capital Projects Funds). The total reflects an increase of 17.7 percent over the adopted FY 2018 budget of $51,181,877.

The budget will provide the resources necessary to maintain or enhance the level of quality services expected by its citizens. The town’s FY 2019 begins July 1, 2018, and extends to June 30, 2019. The Council also set the town tax rate for the budget year. It remains unchanged from the previous year. All excise taxes were maintained at their current rates in the proposed budget. The Meals Tax remains at 2.5 percent, and the Cigarette Tax remains at 75 cents per pack.

“It’s always a fine calibration to hold tax rates at their current levels while providing funding for services, programs and projects that are important to our citizens,” said Mayor Lisa Merkel. “We are grateful to those who came out and provided their input on the budget process.”

The town reported the majority of the FY 2019 Budget increase is due to the inclusion of $6.4 million in the Water and Sewer Fund to purchase additional capacity and $1.0 million in bonds in the Downtown Parking Fund.

THE TOTAL BUDGET includes two funds, the General and the Enterprise, and the FY 2019 portion of the Capital Improvement Program.

The General Fund was set at $36,216,231 which represented a 1.7 increase when compared to last year's budget. It is the primary operating fund of the town. Expenditures include personnel, operations and maintenance, minor capital, inter-fund transfers and debt service.

The budget reflected a 2.95 percent increase in assessed property tax values. The average residential property value was projected at $386,541. The town reports the average residential real estate tax bill at $1024.33 based on $0.2650 per $100 assessed value.

The total anticipated FY 2019 general property taxes, which includes real estate, are projected at $11,739,701, 32 percent of the General Fund resources.

The second fund, the Enterprise Fund operates similar to a private business and has stand-alone funds. User fees, not real estate taxes, support operational, maintenance and capital expenditures. Revenues provide services and maintain or expand its facilities. The town's Enterprise Funds are the Water & Sewer Fund, Cemetery, Golf Course, Downtown Parking, and Capital Projects.

The FY 2019 portion of the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) was incorporated into the town’s FY 2019 budget and adopted as part of the annual budget. It provides funding for nineteen general projects and six enterprise fund projects. The FY 19 program projects also seek county, state, and federal funding to reduce the impact on the general fund.

MAJOR PROJECTS for the FY 2019 Capital Improvement Program are the Water & Sewer capacity purchases; the water through Fairfax County at $6.5 million, the purchase and financing not yet finalized and sewer at $80,000. Additional capacity is needed to support development and redevelopment of the town.

The Sewer Service Rate increased from $5.05 in FY 2018 to $5.40 per 1,000 gallons of water consumption in FY2019. The Sewer Availability Fee increased from $7,490 in FY 2018 to $10,800 in FY2019 for new, single-family homes.

In FY 19, the Van Buren Street Improvements, Part I and II total $2.68 million of which $1.4 million are for Herndon Parkway north to old Spring Street, Part I and rebuilding Van Buren Street by providing linkage north and south, Part II at $1.2 million. The projects are supported in part by grant sources.

Two other key improvements are $1.0 million for the Downtown Parking Capital Contribution and $500,00 budgeted for Art Center interior.