On April 6, the MCA Board passed an 11-page resolution on the County Executive’s Fiscal Year 2024 Advertised Budget. On April 11, Louise Epstein, who chairs the MCA’s Budget & Taxation Committee, testified before the Board of Supervisors about the resolution.
Given crime increases in greater McLean (including but not limited to Tysons Corner) as well as the over 200 vacancies in our Police Department, the MCA urged the Board of Supervisors to bring police salaries up to local market rates, by raising them 15% across the board.
The MCA had two other safety-related requests.
First, the MCA urged the Supervisors to fully fund the Park Authority’s $739,000 request to pay for forestry management services, to reduce the risk that dead or dying trees would fall on people, their pets, or their property.
Second, the MCA recommended that the Board of Supervisors pay for more sidewalks, trails and other Active Transportation projects, and explore the use of 2023 school bonds for sidewalks and trails to allow more students to safely walk or bike to school, thus reducing demand for school bus transportation.
After hearing from MCA and other community members who were unusually upset about property tax increases, the MCA also urged the Supervisors to reduce the property tax rate by at least 3 cents in FY 2024 and not to increase the tax rate in FY 2025, to partly offset the dramatic increase in residential home assessments over the past two years.
To pay for these requests, the MCA recommended that the Supervisors ask the County Executive to identify cost savings, including reductions in the amount transferred to the school system, given the declining ratio of FCPS students to the County’s total population. The MCA also recommended that the County check the accuracy of the school system’s projections and make corresponding adjustments, starting with the FCPS FY 2025 Proposed Budget.
The Board of Supervisors will have its Budget Policy Committee Pre-Markup meeting on April 28, at 3 pm, and its official Budget Markup is scheduled for May 2. Both meetings can be viewed online.