Town Council Passes Budget With Lower-Than-Advertised Tax Rate

Late low bid on painting project, among other shifts, reduces increase on average resident's annual property tax bill

The Vienna Town Council passed its $29.8 million fiscal year 2011-2012 budget on Monday night with a last-minute reduction in the property tax rate.

The proposed budget included a real estate tax rate of $0.02435 per $100 of assessed value. But the town accepted a much lower bid than anticipated for a Town Hall exterior painting and wood replacement project, which allowed it to lower that rate to $0.02421, town officials said.

The change means the average Vienna resident's property tax bill will increase by about $36.60, instead of the $43.59 annual increase the town had projected with the initial proposed rate.

The reduction lowers the effective rate increase from 2.2 to 1.6 percent, Finance Director Phil Grant said, though the rate itself is a decrease from last year.

Grant said Colossal Contractors, Inc. bid $18,950 for the project. Town Council approved a $20,845 contract for Colossal on Monday night, which includes a 10 percent contingency from the budget's general fund, Grant said. The extra money allows for some of the building's rotted wood to be replaced once the paint is stripped.

The savings allowed the town to reduce the Department of Public Works budget by $35,000. Combined with a nearly $15,000 reduction in the town's contingency  fund, Grant said, the town had almost $50,000 to lower the tax rate.

Fund Budget
FY 10-11 Adjusted Budget
FY 10-11 Proposed
FY 11-12 Approved FY 11-12 General 20,769,965 21,085,085 21,322,648 21,272,703 Debt Service 1,978,945 1,978,945 2,081,909 2,081,909 Water and Sewer 6,452,770 6,379,653 6,486,947 6,486,947 Total 29,201,680 29,443,683 29,891,504 29,841,559

Other highlights of the budget:

  • Water rates will decrease by 15 cents per 1,000 gallons, from $3.99 to $3.84 per 1,000 gallons for in-town customers, and from $4.37 to $4.22 for out of town customers. The new rates take effect July 1.
  • Sewer rates will increase by 50 cents per 1,000 gallons for all users, from $5.23 to $5.73 per 1,000 gallons. Based on a quarterly usage of 19,000 gallons, the average Vienna customer's bill would increase annually by $26.60, according to town documents. The new rate takes effect July 1.
  • The return of full-step anniversary date increases for salaried employees, after two years of frozen salaries, Grant said.
  • Increased funding for snow removal and concrete repairs
  • A transfer of $101,700 from the town share of the telecommunications tax to the capital projects fund for sidewalk construction

Miss a part of the budget process?

May 10:

June 6:

June 7:

JB June 22, 2011 at 10:36 AM
At the risk of being targetted next, I'm surprise the town council did anything in response to the citizens after their brazen actions in the noise ordinance fiasco. While cowtowing to the monied by throwing in a "country clubs aren't impacted" clause at the last minute, the council ignored the small business men of Vienna and many of the citizens (as evidenced by one young mans ability to present over 80 signatures in protest). Why? So that a couple of whiners can have a "quiet time". Note to the council and those whiners: Vienna is a middle class town made up of people that work 5, 6 or even 7 days a week. Housework and maintenance occur when they're not earning their living. Some might call this time a weekend or holiday. The town and the council isn't your private neighborhood association to do as you please. That law is disgusting.
Mmmmm! June 22, 2011 at 11:53 AM
Saving the average homeowner $6.99 a year hardly shows any budget stewardship. The Town Council fails to understand today's economic realities. What planet are they viewing? It certainly isn't the same one that the average homeowner in Vienna is living on!
Cassie June 22, 2011 at 05:11 PM
I agree with both comments above. The Town Council needs to better reign in spending and spend less time on frivolous law revisions. There are plenty of other issues like reducing spending that should take up their time, not noise ordinances. If spending continues this way I hope the citizens elect new council members more interested in keeping spending under control.
SH June 22, 2011 at 05:44 PM
I completely agree!


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