WASHINGTON — Loudoun County, Virginia, property owners are getting a tax break: The board of supervisors has approved a $2.5 billion budget for 2018 that includes a 2-cent real property tax cut.
The budget calls for a real property tax rate of $1.125 per $100 in assessed value, down from the current tax rate of $1.145.
The budget funds county government operations and the school system, providing nearly $749 million to the schools, a 7.7 percent increase over 2017 funding.
Some teachers have been critical of the budget, arguing that it leaves the school system with a $5.5 million shortfall. Supervisor Kristen Umstattd lost a motion to provide an additional $1.5 million to the schools to update textbooks.
“Children are not in our schools for all that long, and I think it’s incumbent on us to make sure their textbooks are up to date and in good condition,” Umstattd said.
But the board said the budget represents 99.3 percent of the school board’s request.
Supervisor Ron Meyer argued that the school budget had a “historic increase” and that schools were being adequately funded.
“Our investment, per child, is going up faster than just about anybody in the country, much less our region,” Meyer said. “We should be proud that we’re paying our teachers, starting them at $50,000, but we also can’t say that we are, by any means, shortchanging our school system,” he said.
The 2018 fiscal year budget also has funds for new county facilities, including the Dulles South Multipurpose Center, Kirkpatrick Farms Fire Rescue Station and the Brambleton Library.
To relieve school overcrowding, the county’s capital improvement budget will speed up the opening date of the new high school in the Dulles South area to the fall of 2020.