If Prince William County citizens want their taxes to stay flat, they're going to see some big cuts in the county's budget, particularly for social services, over the next year.
That was Chairman Corey Stewart's recent message to members of the Board of County Supervisors. In a letter dated Nov. 15, Stewart recommended $9,654,148 in cuts for fiscal year 2014. Many of those cuts are aimed at social services, such as substance abuse treatment for inmates, health department funding and juvenile court services.
"To get to a flat tax bill, the Board must cut $9,147,808 from the budget. The cuts I am proposing are slightly more than this to give room for Board discussion," Stewart wrote.
Some of Stewart's proposed cuts include:
- Health Department and non-profits: $3,675,760
- Juvenile Court Services Unit: $626,372
- Close neighborhood libraries two days a week: $360,362
- Move middle school resource officers back to patrol: $520,000
- Eliminate Prince William Transportation and Roadway improvement (TRIP) operating funds: $460,822
- Eliminate Prince William Transportation and Roadway improvement (TRIP) capital funds: $1,500,000
- Donations to nonprofits, which provide many of the county's community services: $941,296
- Substance abuse treatment for jail inmates: $582,030
To see a full list of proposed cuts, click here.
The supervisors are scheduled to discuss the budget and their recommendations at the Nov. 20 meeting. Board members will discuss their proposals and concerns about the budget.
Adding to the uncertainty around the budget is the fact that the federal government still has not dealt with impending sequestration: automatic, $1.2 trillion in cuts over a 10-year period, due to take effect Jan. 1. If sequestration were to proceed as scheduled, Northern Virginia's economy would certainly take a hit—and the county might find itself with even more difficult choices.
Read more on the FY14 budget:
Shadow of Sequestration Looms Over Prince William
County Hashes Out Priorities for Upcoming Year