County’s proposed budget sees 3-cent real estate tax increase

Published 12:13 pm Saturday, April 9, 2016

Isle of Wight County’s Fiscal Year 2016-2017 Proposed Operating and Capital Budget includes a 3-cent real estate tax increase, along with a total increase of $1,426,868 from last year. However, the real estate tax is the only tax being increased with the proposed budget.

“This budget responds to the needs of a growing community and focuses on core responsibilities of local government: education; public safety; other public services; and a healthy environment,” interim county administrator Sanford Wanner said. “In addition, it addresses the Board’s Compensation Plan to complete the Virginia Retirement System’s financial contribution phase-in and maintains the pay play for County employees who are charged with delivering public services to our citizens.”

The budget for FY2015-2016 was $70,388,604, with a projected budget of $70,388,604 for FY2016-2017. The money for this budget comes from the following places: local revenues make up $60.5 million (75 percent) of the budget; capital revenue makes up $8.6 million (11 percent); state, federal grants and other make up $7.6 million (9 percent); and fees and charges make up $3.7 million (5 percent).

Wanner also explained where the tax dollars are spent in the local revenues, as that is always a frequently asked question.

The amounts are as follows: Education: $29.1 million (41 percent); Public Safety: $11.9 million (17 percent); Non-Departmental: $2 million (16 percent); Public Works: $5.4 million (7 percent); Community Development: $2.9 million (4 percent); Parks, Recreation and Cultural: $2.8 million (4 percent); Financial Administration: $2.1 million (3 percent); General Administration: $2 million (3 percent); Health and Welfare: $1.8 million (2 percent); Judicial: $1.5 million (2 percent); and Other Public Services: $884 thousand (1 percent).

Wanner said that the 3-cent real estate tax increase is necessary to support school and public safety requests. This would increase the County’s current tax rate of $0.85 to $0.88 per $100. Each 1-cent increase in real property tax totals to $327,966.

“This proposed budget is intended to meet today’s needs and continue to position the County for a bright future. Recommending a tax increase is not the preferred solution, however, there are few remaining areas, if any, where further cost reductions can be made without impacting County services for our citizens and reducing our economic potential,” Warren said.

The board of supervisors will have a budget work session on Wednesday, April 27, at 10 a.m. in the Robert C. Claud, Sr. Board of Supervisors Room, 17130 Monument Circle, Isle of Wight.

A full copy of the proposed budget can be found on the County’s website.