Falls Church City Manager Wyatt Shields presented his full recommended budget to the F.C. City Council Monday night which calls for funding the FY 2016 fiscal year budget, including the full budget request of the School Board, with a four cent increase in the real estate tax rate from $1.305 to $1.345 per $100 of assessed valuation.
While the size of the City’s operating budget grows by 1.59% in Shields’ proposed budget, he is by law required to adopt in full the budget request from the School Board, which voted unanimously last week to seek a 5.3% increase. The overall budget with these aspects included comes in at $83,068,154, or a 3.1% increase over the current fiscal year’s budget.
But with Monday’s presentation, the budget is now handed over to the City Council, which can do anything it wants to it, in terms of raising or lowering the numbers and the tax rate, before it is expected to adopt the final budget, due to go into effect on July 1, at the end of April. The Council begins its deliberative process with a town hall meeting to hear input from the community this Saturday at 10 a.m. in the Community Center. It will then hold its first work session next Monday night, with the School Board due to be in attendance. That session will have representatives from all the City departments present to answer questions from the public in a sort of walk-around format for some time before the work session actually begins.
The City Manager’s proposed 4-cent tax rate increase means that for the 2015 median home value of $643,900 in the City, a $724 increase will be absorbed, including $467 due to assessment growth and $257 due to the 4-cent tax rate increase.