Vienna homeowners got a bit of financial relief April 25 after the Vienna Town Council approved an even larger tax-rate cut than had been posited in the town’s proposed fiscal 2023 budget.
Vienna Town Manager Mercury Payton earlier this spring had proposed cutting the tax rate by a penny to 21.25 cents per $100 assessed value. Council members unanimously agreed April 25 to lop an additional three-quarters of a cent, bringing the rate to 20.5 cents per $100.
“I’m so proud of this Council,” said Vienna Mayor Linda Colbert. “We’ve really taken our citizens into account. We’re being fiscally responsible.”
The Council’s decision marks the tenth consecutive year in which Vienna has seen either no change or a decrease in its tax rate, said Finance Director Marion Serfass.
“The tax on the average assessment should approximately equal the tax on last year’s assessment,” she said.
Town officials obtained the rate cut by using surplus funds from the previous year’s budget and making some minor budgetary adjustments, she said.
“We worked hard to get every single penny that we could,” said Council member Charles Anderson.
No town residents testified at the April 25 public hearing on setting the tax rate. Even with the rate cut, the town government still will be able to maintain an unassigned general fund balance of more than 18 percent of the coming fiscal year’s budget, Serfass said.
The Council will adopt the fiscal 2023 budget May 26 and it will take effect July 1. Real-estate taxes, however, run on a calendar-year basis and the new rate will be retroactive to January.
Vienna residents also pay Fairfax County taxes and likely will see much higher bills this year. The Board of Supervisors is mulling a 3-cent cut to the county’s tax rate, which would bring it to $1.11 per $100 assessed value, but because of much higher property assessments, homeowners on average would pay in excess of $400 more.