PWC Release: Board Raises Data Center Tax Rates to Fund Critical Investments in FY25

PWC Release: Board Raises Data Center Tax Rates to Fund Critical Investments in FY25

supervisor boddye sits on a carpet with a group of students and is holding a book. The teacher is dressed as the Cat in the Hat

The Prince William Board of County Supervisors unanimously adopted the Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 Budget during its meeting on Tuesday, April 23, 2024. The FY25 Budget starts July 1, 2024, and advances the county’s strategic priorities, builds internal capacity to advance capital projects, addresses the ratified collective bargaining agreements with Police and Fire and Rescue unions, invests in modernizing information technology digital services for better constituent services, and funds critical needs to improve effective and efficient service delivery. The adopted $1.80 billion general fund budget also meets the Board’s policies and principles of sound financial management.

In an effort to mitigate the impact to residents due to higher assessed home values, the Board reduced the real estate tax rate from $0.966 to $0.920 per $100 of assessed value. This results in the average residential real estate tax bill increase of $26. The adopted budget also increases the business tangible computer equipment and peripheral (C&P) tax rate from $2.15 to $3.70 per $100 of assessed value. This is the highest rate the Board can adopt for the C&P, as by state code, the county is not allowed to raise the rate of the C&P tax higher than the personal property tax rate.

“This Board is committed to working together to serve the residents of our community and the adopted budget reflects that commitment,” said Chair At-Large Deshundra Jefferson. “We were able to lower the tax rate while providing additional funding for critical investments in our schools and in our infrastructure. These are sound investments that serve our community and will have a meaningful impact for years to come.”

The largest investment in the adopted budget is the transfer to the Prince William County Public Schools. The County-Schools Revenue Sharing Agreement provides the schools with 57.23 percent of the county’s general fund revenues. The adopted budget maintains the Revenue Sharing Agreement and will result in a 13 percent increase over FY2024, or $105.1 million, in the school transfer. Funding for the class size reduction grant is maintained, as well as current funding for community safety officers at elementary schools. An additional $1.1 million will be provided to Northern Virginia Community College to support its early college programs and workforce development programs.

The second largest area of investment is in Safe & Secure Communities, reflected within this Board’s overall commitment to retaining and attracting dedicated employees through a competitive compensation structure:

  • Police: $5.1M for specialty pay for Police, along with $6.4M for the first year of a two-year staffing plan that will add a total of 40 officers and 6 civilian positions
  • Fire & Rescue: $4.2M for specialty incentive pay for specialized roles such as Advanced Life Support; $6.1M to add 90 new firefighters over three years; $1.4M to fully staff Station 27
  • General Service Employees: 3% merit increase and a 2.5% for general service employees to finish implementing FY24 study recommendations for remaining competitive in the NOVA market
  • Sheriff’s Office: 5.7% market adjustment for sworn staff of the Sheriff’s Office, 3 new offers, 2 new vehicles, and funding for classification structure and compensation studies for the Sheriff’s Office and Adult Detention Center
  • Judiciary: 8 new Commonwealth’s Attorney FTE, Support staff for a new judge in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, and an interpreter for the Public Defender’s Office

Also included is funding to do an assessment of the county’s classification structure for internal equity and external market competitiveness, as well as a compensation study for the Sheriff’s Office and Adult Detention Center. There is also a compensation study included for Police, which was negotiated as part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

With the adoption of the budget, the Board demonstrated its commitment to affordable housing in the community by creating an affordable housing office within the Office of Housing and Community Development and allocating $5.5 million in FY25 and FY26, and $5 million annually in FY27-29 of the five-year plan, to an affordable housing trust to promote the construction of affordable housing units in the county.

The budget also included the creation of the Office of Youth Services, which will provide outreach, intervention and prevention services for disconnected and at-risk youth, as well as a 3 percent increase for existing community partners.

Also included in the adopted budget is an increase in parks, trails and maintenance funding for improved facilities, to include those at Ali Krieger Park, Hellwig Park, Howison Park and Occoquan Trail, as well as funding to develop agribusiness/agritourism and maritime master plans and overall tourism master plan. In addition, an additional litter crew is funded, as well as funding for continued staffing efforts in implementing the Community Energy Sustainability Master Plan.

Continuing to recognize the importance of an efficient multi-modal transportation network, the Board maintained the local subsidy for the Virginia Railway Express. They also provided funding for the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission’s commuter and local bus service by using the motor fuels tax, grantor’s tax, and transient occupancy tax – which are dedicated revenue sources for transportation purposes – increasing the amount of funding provided to PRTC by $9.1 million from last fiscal year. In addition, maintenance support is provided for the Neabsco/Potomac Commuter Parking Garage, which is scheduled to be completed this fall.

To see the full FY2025 Budget, visit pwcva.gov/budget.