Town Hall Meeting on Prince William County’s Proposed FY2016 Budget Spending and Cuts

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PWC proposed FY2016 budget

Update: Due to inclement weather on Thursday, this meeting has been rescheduled. See new date and place below.
Board of County Supervisor’s (BOCS) Brentsville District representative Jeanine Lawson and PWC School Board member Gil Trenum will co-host a town hall meeting tomorrow night to discuss Prince William County’s proposed FY2016 budget spending and cuts. Sweethomeva Real Estate hopes Brentsville, Bristow and Nokesville residents turn out in force to learn how the proposed budget recommendations effect homeowners and employees. Hopefully they can share expectations for the upcoming advertised tax rate decision. Town Hall details:

Brentsville District Town Hall Information

Thursday, February 26 (postponed due to inclement weather)
Marstellar Middle School at 7:30 p.m.

Monday, March 2, 2015
Gainesville Middle School at 7:30 p.m.
8001 Limestone Dr, Gainesville

The proposed Prince William County FY2016 budget was submitted at the most recent PWC BOCS meeting and it calls for a 1.3% increase over FY15’s average real estate tax bill. Bristow Beat reports that the proposed budget is likely to mean painful cuts to citizens. The online news site reports that attendees reacted negatively to the proposal.

Unanimously, residents speaking at Citizen’s Time reacted negatively to the budget. Many were already there waiting to speak up the negative impacts the budget would have upon the school division. Hearing of the additional cuts, many were outraged. They asked that the supervisors fund the budget, many suggesting they fund it at the previously suggested 4 percent.

The BOCS, perhaps in response to the BOCS meeting’s dramatic citizen’s response, met during a rare session on Saturday that was shortened due to the snowfall. reported that there was broad support to reinstate funding for some popular programs that are on the chopping block (like Drug Court, 4H) and to give PWCS teachers some sort of raise. Yet, the BOCS disagreed on how to make this happen.

Click to Read the Complete Prince William County Proposed FY16 Budget

About the Proposed Budget

The PWC BOCS directed County Executive Melissa Peacor and staff to submit a budget with a 1.3 percent increase in home owner’s real estate tax rates in favor of the 4 percent outlined in PWC’s 5-year plan. BOCS requested that some programs remain untouched by cuts and instead be fully-funded at the 4 percent increase rate.

Proposed Budget Cuts

Funding portions of the budget at 4 percent, without an actual increase of same amount funded by real estate tax funds, meant deep proposed slashes to jobs, services and popular programs. The proposed budget includes cuts to library and park programs (like new Catharpin and Rollins Ford Parks, enhanced field maintenance at Nokesville K-8 and Haymarket schools), jobs (almost 34 full time jobs eliminated) and significant human services cuts (over 20 full time positions and programs like the popular Master Gardeners program).

  • Eliminates 33.92 County jobs – including the entire staff of the County Print Shop (6 jobs)
  • Eliminates planned new spending on Parks including the 2006 Park Bond projects not already under contract
  • Eliminates many popular Virginia Cooperative Extension programs, like 4-H Youth Education and Parent Education
  • Eliminates Gang Response Team Coordinator

Click to Read the Complete Prince William County Proposed FY16 Budget

Proposed New Spending

BOCS also directed that staff include funding for adopted public safety and library Five-Year Plan initiatives. In FY16, this new spending includes:

  • Police, safety & sheriff’s department, including 25 new sworn full time employees
  • Fire and rescue, including 7 full time positions at Linton Hall Station for daytime truck staffing
  • Libraries, including Gainesville Library debt service, operating funds and new jobs
  • Child protective services
  • Foster care services
  • Countywide & Public Safety IT Systems

Do Prince William County’s Proposed FY2016 Budget Spending and Cuts Meet PWC Goals?

According to Bristow Beat, the 1.3 percent increase would provide an additional $9 million to the county over last year’s budget plan. However, the need to protect certain agencies costs money; thus Peacor and staff were tasked with finding $15 million in savings in the FY16 budget. The combination of spending, new spending and cuts did not
generate the money needed to meet this goal. It turns out that the largest savings comes from freezing PWC employee salaries for the next five years. From the proposed budget:

Freezing employee salaries for the next five years saves $97 million, but it does have consequences. In FY2016, the Adopted Five-Year Budget called for a modest 2% salary increase for County employees. This proposal to freeze Prince William employee salaries for the next five years will have an impact on the County’s ability to attract and retain employees. We don’t have to look very far for an example. The Commonwealth has frozen their employee salaries since 2007 and they currently lose 53% of their employees within the first five years of service. reports that Peacor noted at the BOCS meeting that, “additionally, with the increasing cost of health insurance, receiving no raise, would equate to a decrease in take home pay.”

Again, here are the details of the upcoming town hall meeting:

Brentsville District Town Hall | Prince William County’s Proposed FY2016 Budget Spending and Cuts

Thursday, February 26
Marstellar Middle School at 7:30 p.m.


PWC FY2016 proposed tax bill represented by dollar bill

Click to Read the Complete Prince William County Proposed FY16 Budget

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