Leesburg Town Council Locks in Budget for 2025, Maintains Tax Rate Amid Enhancements

The Leesburg Town Council recently finalized the budget for Fiscal Year 2025, setting forth a comprehensive financial plan that also includes a Six-Year Capital Improvements Program. Totalling $159.8 million, the budget encompasses the General Fund, the Capital Projects Fund, and the Utilities Fund, indicating a commitment to both ongoing operations and future community enhancements.

Despite the rising assessments for residential units, which have led to an average 4.7% increase, the real property tax rate will hold steady at 17.74 cents per $100 of assessed value. This consistency in the tax rate results in an approximate $42 annual increase for the average homeowner’s real property tax bill.

Highlights from the $82.5 million General Fund budget include diverse enhancements aimed at improving community life and infrastructure:

  • A $30,000 contribution towards the Leesburg Movement initiative, aligning with the Virginia Main Street Program to boost downtown vibrancy.
  • Investment of $88,500 for the acquisition of equipment, training, and part-time personnel needed for the Leesburg Police Department to implement school zone speed cameras.
  • A one-time $25,000 donation to LAWS Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services to aid in constructing a new domestic violence shelter in Leesburg.
  • Allocation of $120,000 for the installation of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations at the Town Hall Parking Garage.
  • An earmark of $200,000 for developing a Comprehensive Parks Master Plan.
  • Funding of $630,000 for preliminary steps in streetscape enhancements, focusing on traffic calming and pedestrian safety on East Market Street and Catoctin Circle.

The Capital Improvements Program, spanning Fiscal Years 2025-2030, is set at $308.57 million with 75 projects planned. This includes the strategic addition of a Capital Projects Construction Manager to efficiently handle the program’s increasing complexity and workload demands.

Significant projects slated for FY25 encompass the development of Veterans Park, the construction of a sidewalk along Morven Park Road, right-of-way acquisitions for the Evergreen Mill Road widening project, and the continuation of the Leesburg Police Department’s expansion and renovation. Notably, due to high community interest, the design and construction of pickleball courts will be expedited, with a new location at Freedom Park to accommodate more courts.

The Utilities Fund for FY25 is budgeted at $45.7 million, which includes $14.5 million for capital projects, marking the beginning of a new five-year rate plan endorsed by the Council.

Leesburg Town Manager Kaj Dentler emphasized the budget’s balance between fiscal prudence and community investment, highlighting the funding for projects like the pickleball courts, electric vehicle chargers, and support for local movements and services.

This budget, effective July 1, 2024, aims to maintain Leesburg’s fiscal stability while advancing initiatives that enrich the town’s community and infrastructure.