Despite $1.1-$1.7 Million F.C. Surplus, Shields Still Wants Higher Tax Rate

At its work session in City Hall tonight with 11 days before adopting its next fiscal year budget, the Falls Church City Council learned that, based on actual revenues from the just-completed January-March quarter of the current year, it will have an extra $1.1 to $1.7 million to contribute to meeting its next $70 million budget.

However, no sooner had Chief Financial Officer Richard LaCondre presented the news than City Manager Wyatt Shields presented a revised set of recommendations to the Council on how to spend the surplus, all of which maintained his proposal to increase the real estate tax rate from $1.27 per $100 valuation to $1.33.

Shields proposed using part of the surplus to defer the first payments of fees on the Storm Water Utility Fund that has been proposed until June 2014 and to buoy the City’s 17 percent (of annual expenditures) fund balance, creating a new reserve fund for school construction and funding the maintenance of the City’s cable TV station.

The Council will welcome public input on these new proposals, and the budget overall, at a town hall set this Saturday morning at 10 a.m. at the Community Center, and then will resume its efforts to preliminarily mark up the budget at a work session that has been moved from Monday to Tuesday of next week, with the final vote on the budget scheduled for Monday, April 22.