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Herndon expects modest revenues in FY 2025 as budget talks begin

Town of Herndon government offices (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Town of Herndon officials estimate a modest influx of general fund revenues in fiscal year 2025 as work begins on preparing the upcoming budget.

At a Herndon Town Council meeting on Jan. 2, Director of Finance Marjorie Sloan said the town expects roughly $41.1 million in general fund revenues — down from $47.6 million in fiscal year 2024, which began on July 1, 2023.

Town council members emphasized the need to find ways to maintain the town’s current level of services, given the overall revenue picture.

“My concern has always been our revenues are not increasing that I think that we need to maintain,” said Councilmember Cesar del Aguila.

Still, Town Manager Bill Ashton II said Herndon is likely “one of the best capitalized localities in Northern Virginia.”

So far, occupancy and meals taxes are “trending favorable” in the budget, according to Sloan. Revenue has also been buoyed by higher-than-average interest rates on investments, and the town is able to shed some costs after deciding to discontinue the Herndon Festival.

Despite the town’s relatively strong cash position, however, high staff turnover — nearly 50% for some positions — remains a challenge.

Councilmember Pradip Dhakal said he’s concerned about the high costs of onboarding new staff and potential implications for turnover in future years.

“50 percent new hires…To me, that’s a little scary, but I think we’re awesome so we can handle it,” del Aguila said.

Tax increases or increases in some town fees may be inevitable, some council members concurred. Still, Sloan said it was important to consider that the current outlook was simply an estimate.

“The bottom line is you can’t always look at the mid-year update and see exactly where we are,” she said.

The council will review a resolution on budgetary guidance at its Jan. 16 meeting. Work sessions on the budget kick off in February — including discussions of a 7% rate increase by Fairfax Water. The proposed budget is scheduled to be publicly released around March 31, followed by the beginning of public hearings on May 9.

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