Leesburg Town Council and Your Tax Dollars: Here’s What You Need to Know

Leesburg Town Council and Your Tax Dollars: Here’s What You Need to Know

I’m asking for your vote on November 8 for the Leesburg Town Council.  This election, we are voting for mayor and three open Council seats.  

If you’re new to Leesburg, or just getting interested in local government, here’s what you need to know:
  • The six members of the Town Council, along with the Mayor, are the governing body for those that live within the Town of Leesburg (about 51,000 residents).

  • Council members are elected on a non-partisan basis (they are not considered ‘Republican’ or ‘Democratic’ candidates).  Council members are elected at-large; they do not represent specific districts or areas of the Town.

What Does the Town Council Do, Exactly?

The Town Council adopts ordinances and resolutions, establishes the general policies of the Town, sets the tax rates, approves and adopts the Town’s budgets. Town Council also does zoning and votes on new development applications within the town limits.

 

What Taxes Does the Town of Leesburg Assess?

The Town taxes include real estate and property taxes, as well as business license fees, meals, hotel, bank franchise, cigarette, daily rental and utility taxes.  Homeowners and business owners pay taxes, but visitors who stay in Leesburg hotels and dine in our restaurants also contribute tax revenue.

These are the current taxes and rates for the Town of Leesburg:

  1. Cigarettes - 75 cents per pack

  2. Meals & Beverage and Prepared Foods - 3.5%

  3. Short-term Rentals - 1%

  4. Hotel Rooms - 6%  

  5. Utilities - 16% of the first $15 of monthly electric, gas & phone service

 

As a Leesburg resident and taxpayer, what do my taxes pay for?

Most of the revenue for the town comes from taxes. This revenue is essential to providing support for the services offered by the Town.  Public Works and Public Safety are the largest expenses for the town, according to the 2015 Financial Report.

Our Town taxes support the salaries and operations of the Leesburg Police Department.  We have an outstanding force of 87 sworn officers and the only police station in the area that is open 24 hours a day.

Our Town taxes support our public works. Think water and sewer service, maintenance of streets, and public buildings, traffic management, trash collection, recycling and snow removal. Our streetlights make the roads safer at night, and crosswalks make our roads safer for pedestrians, including students walking to school.  

Our Town taxes also contribute to the quality of life for residents through our Parks and Recreation programs, including the Ida Lee Recreation Center and the AV Symington Aquatic Center, both of which attract many visitors and residents annually.

Our Town taxes provide the salaries and benefits for the Town’s employees, and without them Leesburg would grind to a halt.  No trash or yard waste would be collected, no potholes would be filled, our water quality would suffer. In short, Leesburg would not be a safe place to live.

The property taxes you pay as a Leesburg resident, the taxes and fees that business owners pay to do business here, and the sales taxes paid by visitors allow the Town to provide essential services to residents and also contribute to our quality of life with parks and recreation programs.