County Manager Offers $11.1 Million in Optional Cuts to FY 2018 Budge

Published on March 16, 2017

(Correction: The Manager proposed $3.7 million in optional cuts to one-time funding).

  • Board asked for reduction options equal to one penny on the tax rate
  • Cuts would be shared by APS
  • Options to be considered during March budget work sessions
  • Board has advertised tax rate increase up to two cents over CY 2016 rate
  • Public can weigh-in at two March public hearings; online feedback form
  • Board to adopt final FY 2018 Budget, tax rates and fees April 22, 2017

County Manager Mark Schwartz has offered the County Board, upon its request, a package of $11.1 million in optional cuts(PDF, 302KB) to  his proposed Fiscal Year 2018 Budget. The package includes $7.4 million in potential cuts to the on-going budget and $3.7 million in potential cuts in one-time funding. Schwartz's proposal came in response to a request from the County Board that he propose options for cutting the equivalent of one penny on the tax rate from his proposed budget.

The potential reductions would affect a range of County services, including Human Services, Libraries, Parks and Recreation, Community Planning and Housing and Economic Development. The options also include eliminating both planned service improvements in the streetlight program and additional staff for the County jail. Schwartz also recommended that, based on the principles of revenue sharing between County Government and Arlington Public Schools (APS), $3.5 million of the cuts from the on-going budget and $1.7 million of the cuts from the one-time budget come from the APS budget.

For a full list of the options Schwartz gave the Board, visit the County website.

"Putting together budget reduction options is always difficult, particularly given the growing demands and potential impacts on our community," Schwartz said. "The package makes no change to the additional resources committed to Metro. Since we presented our Proposed Budget on Feb. 25, jurisdictions are facing a Metro funding deficit that may grow even larger."

Difficult choices

The Manager's initial FY 2018 budget proposal  included a recommendation to increase the property tax rate by two cents to help meet the extraordinary funding challenges facing Metro and help APS cope with substantial enrollment growth while maintaining its high achievement rates. During the February meeting, the County Board accepted the County Manager's recommendation on the maximum tax rate to advertise, which provides them with the flexibility when making difficult decisions between increasing taxes and/or making budget reductions.  At the same time, the Board asked that the manager provide, by March 15, options for cuts that would equal one cent on the tax rate.

Opportunity for public comment

Members of the public can learn more about the Proposed FY 2018 Budget, and provide online feedback on potential reductions and/or tax increases through the Budget Feedback Form. The Board will take testimony in March at its public hearings on the budget and on the tax rate:

  • Tuesday, March 28 — County Board Public Budget Hearing — 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 30 — County Board Public Tax Rate(s) Hearing — 7 p.m. County Board holding budget work sessions
  • For information on speaking at the Budget and Tax Rate Public Hearings, visit the County website.

 

Budget work sessions

The Board is holding a series of Budget Work Sessions in March, which are broadcast live on ATV the County's cable channel, (Comcast 25 & 74 and Verizon FiOS 39 & 40), and live-streamed on the County website. These meetings are open to the public, but the Board will not take testimony.