ALEXANDRIA, VA — City Manager Mark Jinks released a revised budget proposal Tuesday for the fiscal year 2021 to address shortfalls related to the coronavirus crisis. The proposed $753.3 million operating budget is a 5.8 percent decrease from the $799.9 million operating budget Jinks proposed in February and a 1.6 percent decrease from the current year’s budget. The revised budget no longer calls for a 2-cent real estate tax hike.
Jinks told reporters in a conference call Tuesday a “lot of uncertainty” about the budget remains. The full impact will depend on how long the economic impact of the coronavirus lasts.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the biggest health crisis in a century, and caused what may be one of the biggest, most sudden economic downturns the nation has ever seen,” said Jinks in a message to City Council and Alexandria residents. “While we don’t yet know the full extent to which this deadly virus will impact Alexandria residents, businesses and City government, I am recommending significant budget changes to continue the City’s record of prudent fiscal management, while relieving some of the burdens on taxpayers and focusing on delivering core services to our community.”
The cancellation of the proposed real estate tax increase would impact several cities and school capital projects. The first phases of the city’s Waterfront Park and flood mitigation plan and the high school project at the T.C. Williams Minnie Howard Campus would be rescheduled to the fiscal year 2023.
The new Douglas MacArthur Elementary School project would continue as planned. The school district notified residents of construction work happening outside the old Patrick Henry school building, which will be a swing space for Douglas MacArthur Elementary School students from fall 2020 through winter 2022-23