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Spending in Arlington County’s Proposed FY 2011 Budget

On Saturday, February 20, the Acting Manager formally presented her proposed FY 2011 budget to the Arlington County Board. Her proposed budget followed closely the Board’s budget guidance last fall, which directed her to propose an FY 2011 budget no greater than the FY 2010 adopted budget and that any gap be equally divided “between proposed revenue increases and proposed expense/service reductions.” As a result, the $16.26 million revenue gap would be made up by a 6.7 cent increase in the real estate tax rate. In the end, the Board voted to advertise a real estate tax rate of $0.09 per $100 of assessed value.

The budget also contains $16.22 million in budget reductions. The Manager indicates that nearly every department, court and constitutional office is impacted. Eighty-seven positions are being eliminated, and no step increases or COLAs are being approved.

In public safety, some proposed cuts involve reducing community policing by 50%; reducing personnel staff;  and reducing other staff. The Sheriff’s department would reduce three deputy sheriffs and three non-uniform support personnel. In the Fire Department, the Manager proposes eliminating a heavy rescue unit, a liaison with OEM, and eliminating a deputy director.

The libraries will be open 372 hours a week, a reduction of 73 hours. Most branches will be closed one day each week. Park maintenance will be reduced. For further information on  proposed budget reductions, see the first section of the budget labelled the “County Manager’s Message.” Cuts are pretty evenly divided by dollar amount, including 40 under $25,000, 33 between $25,000 and $50,000, 42 between $50,000 and $100,000, and 33 over $100,000. In addition, there is a long list of so-called “Tier II” options, including 13 revenue options totaling $5.5 million and 20 expenditure options totaling $3.9 million.

Finally, it’s good to read that “funded FTEs” have decreased from 3,822 in the FY 2009 revised budget to 3,718 in t he FY 2010 revised budget to 3,623 in the FY 2011  proposed budget. Further information on proposed spending, as well spending reductions, is available at the Department of Management & Finance FY 2011 webpage. The graph below, from the DM&F website, shows the distribution of $941.8 million in general fund revenues and  expenditures.


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