ALEXANDRIA, VA – On May 4, the Alexandria City Council unanimously adopted a Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 General Fund Operating Budget of $839,213,971, which represents an 8.9% increase from the FY 2022 budget. The adopted budget does not include a tax rate increase, supports the operating and capital budget requests of Alexandria City Public Schools and addresses critical areas that support the current and future needs of Alexandrians as the region continues to cope with—and recover from—the COVID-19 pandemic. The new fiscal year begins July 1, 2022.
The approved budget continues the City’s tradition of prudent fiscal management. It provides funding for initiatives that build on Alexandria’s successes; addresses emerging issues; maintains core services that support those who need help the most; and promotes equity through programs aimed at maximizing Alexandria’s affordability and accessibility. It also meets goals that maintain and strengthen current infrastructure and continues the City’s investment in school facilities.
“As we continue to emerge from the pandemic, this budget finances our City’s recovery,” said Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson. “It invests in our employees, our basic services, our infrastructure and our schools, while incorporating the lessons of the last two years. The adoption of this budget reflects the constructive input of our residents and the hard work of our City staff and my City Council colleagues.”
The FY 2023 budget funds 100% of the Alexandria City Public Schools’ (ACPS) approved capital improvement program and the School Board’s proposed operating budget. Overall, the FY 2023 adopted budget contains $1.3 million in General Fund efficiency savings in City operations. The budget includes no increases in the real estate tax rate, so real estate tax bills would rise only due to increases in residential real property assessed values. The average residential tax bill is expected to increase $445, or 6.5%, when compared to 2021 residential tax bills.
In addition, the budget includes personal property tax relief for all vehicles by adopting an assessment tax ratio of 78.8% on the assessed value of vehicles. City Council’s action discounts a vehicle’s actual market value by 21.2% for Tax Year 2022 to reflect unprecedented value appreciation due to the pandemic. Beyond this, Council has taken additional action to further minimize the tax burden on lower-valued cars. The City receives a fixed amount from the state each year to be used to help offset personal property taxes on the first $20,000 of the assessed value of “personal use” vehicles. Due to the rising car values and the fixed amount of state funds, City Council has shifted the allocation of Personal Property Tax Relief (PPTRA) funds to lower-value cars. The threshold for vehicles that receive a 100% state car tax subsidy will be increased, from $1,000 and less to $5,000 and less. This action is estimated to eliminate the local tax burden on more than 30,000 cars.
An increase in the residential refuse collection fee by $15.78 (from $484.22 to $500.00), and in the commercial refuse collection fee by $89 (from $411 to $500), will help fund the City’s food waste composting drop-off program and a proposed curbside food waste composting pilot program.
The adopted budget includes $33.9 million in priority investments, including climate change, employee compensation; DASH service expansion; affordable housing, the City’s race and social equity initiative; early childhood and other support programs for young Alexandrians; and public safety supporting initiatives, including the Alexandria Co-Response Program (ACORP) and the Body Worn Camera program. The investments also include 4850 Mark Center Drive, which will house the Department of Community and Human Services, the Alexandria Health Department and a West End service center, making City services more accessible to residents.
The budget also includes funding to strengthen public safety (including increased police patrol staffing), incentive pay for Advanced Life Support firefighter training, and augments support for Complete Streets and Vision Zero projects.
The $2.73 billion 10-year Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for FY 2023–2032 includes continued support of ACPS facilities ($497.8 million), including a new high school, renovation and retrofitting of the 1705 N. Beauregard St. office building for a swing space, and renovation and expansion of two elementary schools.