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No tax rate change proposed in Town of Herndon budget, but some fees to go up

Herndon government offices (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

No property tax rate increases are proposed in the Town of Herndon’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2024.

The $62.5 million budget, submitted by town manager Bill Ashton II, represents a 9% increase over last year’s budget.

Ashton said the town was able to hold the line on its real estate tax rate despite the pressures of inflation and a tight labor market.

“Nevertheless, and through careful fiscal management, the proposed FY 2024 Budget allows for continuation of the programs and services town citizens expect and enjoy, as well as funding for new initiatives, chief among them preparatory work on the town’s Comprehensive Plan,” Ashton said in a news release.

But he cautioned that a mixed level of continued recovery is forecasted in the current economic environment.

“With significant levels of inflation, rising interest rates, and a looming national economic recession, the extent to which these pressures will affect the town’s revenue projections is unknown,” Ashton wrote in a letter with his budget proposal. “While we experienced significant revenue declines during the pandemic, we saw many revenue categories start to recover last year.”

Higher tax bills are expected still for most property owners because of rising real estate values. The real estate tax rate will still remain the same at 26.5 cents per $100 of assessed value.

But increases are proposed for water and sewer rates. The sewer service rate will go from $7.16 to $8.28 per 1,000 gallons of water consumption, and the water service rate will increase from $3.31 to $3.47 per 1,000 gallons of water consumption.

All water consumed during peak periods behind the average in the preceding two winter-quarter billing periods will be charged at a higher rate: $5.91 per 1,000 gallons.

The town also plans to use remaining funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to complete deferred maintenance projects, vehicle purchases and water-sewer infrastructure projects.

The Herndon Town Council will adopt the proposed budget on June 30 following a series of public hearings and work sessions.

The public hearings are slated for Tuesday, April 11 and Tuesday, April 25 at 7 p.m. in the Ingram Council Chambers.

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