Archive for March, 2014

Board Votes to Advertise Tax Rate for FY15 Budget

The Prince William Board of County Supervisors voted to advertise a tax rate of $1.158 per $100 of assessed value during their meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014.

This would be a 2 percent reduction from the current tax rate of $1.181. The average residential tax bill would be $3,599; which is an increase of 5.4 percent ($185 per year) from Fiscal Year 2014.

Based on the advertised $1.158 tax rate, the total general revenue for Fiscal Year 2015 would be $862.3 million. In accordance with the revenue sharing agreement between the County and the Prince William County Public School System, 57.23 percent of the general revenues (with the exception of the Recordation Taxes) would be transferred to the Schools.

This would provide the same amount of revenue to the County and the Schools in Fiscal Year 2015 that the Board adopted in their Five-Year Plan in April 2013. As a result, the schools would receive an additional $18.6 million while county government would see a $14.1 million revenue increase.

Per Virginia Code, the Board can adopt a tax rate that is lower than the advertised rate, but cannot adopt a tax rate that exceeds the advertised rate.  

Budget work sessions will take place on March 18.

Final real estate tax assessments will be mailed to property owners in March, which will allow them to determine how the tax rate would impact them directly.

The Prince William County Public Schools Board will present its budget to the Board of County Supervisors on April 1.

The public is encouraged to participate in the budget process. The County has an online tool that allows the public to submit budget questions. All questions and answers are posted online and viewable by the public (Budget Q&A Site).

On April 2, the Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), where the public may share their position on the proposed County and School projects.

On April 8, the budget and tax rate public hearings will be held. The public is encouraged to come and speak to their position with regard to the advertised tax rate and proposed budget.

Budget recap, where County staff provides the most up-to-date numbers to the Board will also be held on April 8.

Budget markup, where the Board makes changes to the proposed budget based on citizen feedback and staff recommendations, will be on April 22. The budget is scheduled to be adopted on April 29.

If you have a question about the County’s budget, visit the budget webpage (www.pwcgov.org/budget).

Prince William County Ranks Among Best for Homeownership

Neighborhoods across Prince William County have been named among the best places for homeownership in Virginia, according to “NerdWallet,” an online independent comparison site. Prince William County neighborhoods took six slots in the top 20 on the list of best places in the state to own a home. Four of those neighborhoods placed in top 10.

Linton Hall came in at the top spot; Buckhall came in second. Montclair took the third spot while Marumsco placed seventh on the list. Dale City took the 12th spot and Lake Ridge came in at 16.

The study, which used information gathered by the U.S. Census American Community Survey, evaluated places with populations of more than 15,000 and asked if homes were available, if people could afford to live there, and if the population was growing.

According to the NerdWallet.com study, home ownership rate, median monthly homeowner cost, median monthly household income, median home values and population growth figured into the overall rating of a community’s appeal. The study tallied values given to each category to rate the communities.

Aside from the hard numbers, the study included some subjective items such as the Hylton Performing Arts Center near Linton Hall; easy access to boating, fishing and camping for Buckhall residents; tree-lined streets around Lake Montclair; and Marumsco residents’ access to the Occoquan Bay and Featherstone National Wildlife refuges.

Prince William Chairman Corey A. Stewart credited the county’s variety of activities, amenities and attractions as reasons people would want to buy homes in the county. “There are a multitude of reasons why people want to live in Prince William County. We have safe neighborhoods, excellent schools, and— as cited in the story—access to an array of cultural and recreational opportunities. We are close to the nation’s capital, and yet still have a competitive housing market with the lowest average property tax bills in Northern Virginia. It comes as no surprise to me that Prince William County is ranked among the best in the nation by another media outlet.”

Several Prince William County communities also gained some recognition from the “Washington Business Journal” which listed 25 of the “hottest” residential real estate ZIP codes in the Washington Metro area.

The 20115 ZIP code in Gainesville placed 19th on the list. Three Woodbridge ZIP codes earned spots on the list with the with 22193 placing number one, 22191 came in at number six and 22192 came in at the number eight spot.

To read the story, visit http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/2014/best-places-homeownership-virginia/.