County Fiscal Vision
The goal of the Budget and Finance Committee is to facilitate and support the County in reducing near-term fiscal risks and transitioning over the longer-term to a sustainable fiscal path.
Building a Vision for Fiscal Transition in Loudoun County. Looking back over the past two decades and trying to read the fiscal tea leaves for the coming four years and beyond leads to three compelling conclusions:
- The County is ensnared in a “hooked on growth” cycle driven by aggressive housing policies and leading to strong demographic and budgetary pressures; a heavy reliance on new development to generate tax revenues and an appealing lower property tax rate policy; which, in turn, imposes a ‘growth impact tax’ on residents’ quality of life.
- This cycle is exposing the County and its residents to near-term risks of potential service disruptions, abrupt tax hikes and spikes in new debt with the next recession or sooner.
- This fiscal path is unsustainable in the longer-run, as new residential housing development remains apace, the data center boom levels off by the mid-2020s, and neither residential nor broader business sectors are positioned to adequately respond.
Today, there is effectively no medium-term strategy and few guideposts to navigate this future.
For review and consideration, below are reports prepared by former World Bank economist and LCPCC member, Jim Hanna, to aid in the understanding of and citizen public input to the Loudoun County Budget.
The aim of the Discussion Note:
(i) to review the current status of FY2021 budget development,
(ii) to enumerate some key fiscal issues underlying the questions above, and
(iii) to outline for discussion purposes some measures for the first two budgets of the new Board’s four-year term in order to help set a course toward long-term sustainable fiscal performance in Loudoun.