Arlington County Board Finalizes FY 2018 Budget Guidance, FY 2016 Bud

Published on November 11, 2016


  • Metro revised cost projections could push County budget gap to $7.4-$10.4 million 
  • Schools projected gap of $22-$28 million due to enrollment
  • Board reallocates $17.8 million to key areas in FY 2017, FY 2018

The Arlington County Board on Wednesday, Nov. 9, finalized its Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Guidance to the County Manager, calling on him to build a budget that continues current services within the existing tax rate.

The Manager reported that the County's budget gap could grow from the $5.4 million he projected in October to $7.4 million-$10.4 million, due to Metro's recently revised cost projections.

Metro, is projecting a funding gap of $290 million for FY 2018, due to declining ridership, lower fare revenues and increases in contractual wages and benefits. Arlington's contribution to Metro could increase $6 million to $9 million from FY 2017 to FY 2018, based on Metro's revised funding estimates.

Continued pressure from Schools funding needs

Arlington Public Schools, pressured by increasing enrollment and the corresponding need for more capacity, projects a budget gap of $22 million to $28 million for FY 2018.

The County Board voted unanimously to approve the guidance to the Manager, who will use it to build his Proposed Budget. After extensive public outreach, including work sessions, community meetings, public hearings and more, the County will adopt its FY 2018 Budget in April.

FY 2016 close-out

The Board also finalized its approval of the Manager's recommendations for closing out the FY 2016 Budget and the allocation of $17.8 million in non-restricted funding, a modest 2.3% of the FY 2016 Budget. The reallocations will go to several key areas in FY 2017 and FY 2018.

The Board allocated the non-restricted funds to a few priority areas, such as AHIF and housing grants, and FY 2017 contingencies. The Board also kept some funds unallocated that will be discussed during the FY 2018 budget process.

Public engagement

For the first time this year, the Board sought public comment on its draft guidance to the County Manager for developing the FY 2018 Budget and the Manager's proposal for the FY 2016 close-out. The County posted an online survey and received emails and letters from the public and County advisory commissions before holding public hearings and voting on the Manager's recommendations.

To view the breakdown of comments made to the Board, visit the FY 2018 Budget Information page on the County website. View the "FY 2016 Year-end Summary Presentation.

Next steps

The County Manager and Superintendent of Schools will hold a joint public budget forum on Nov. 30 at 6 p.m. at Washington-Lee High School. The Manager and Superintendent will offer budget presentations, followed by a question and answer session.

The Manager will propose the FY 2018 Budget to the County Board in late February. Following his presentation, there will be work sessions with the Board, and public hearings before the Board adopts the FY 2018 Budget in April.

To learn more about the FY 2018 Budget, visit the County website.