The Arlington County board approved a $1.3 billion fiscal 2021 budget that maintains its current level of services, but reveals an estimated loss of $56 million in revenue from multiple kinds of taxes, highlighting the impact the coronavirus pandemic is expected to have on the Virginia county.
Drops in sales, meal, business license and transit occupancy taxes are all forecast in the budget.
The budget also foregoes any salary increases in fiscal 2021 for county employees, continues a hiring freeze put in place in March and puts many projects on hold.
That includes delaying the opening of the Lubber Run Community Center and Long Bridge Park Fitness & Aquatics Center until fiscal year 2022.
Arlington Public Schools will get $524.6 million, a slight increase from fiscal 2020.
And the budget does not include an increase in the county’s property tax rate.
However, the county’s property assessments increased, meaning a hike in the actual tax bill property owners will get.
The board approved a $10.2 million contingent fund that includes $2.7 million for housing grants, permanent supportive housing, emergency food assistance and other emergency needs.
The remaining 7.5 million will go to assisting small businesses and nonprofits, and provide employee support.
“In just three short months, our budget priorities have been upended,” Arlington County Board chair Libby Garvey said.
“Our focus in the coming year will be on supporting residents and small business hit hard by the economic fallout of the pandemic, preserving essential services and maintaining a strong financial foundation.”
Arlington County’s new fiscal year begins July 1.
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