Fluvanna Supervisors Get an Earful

 

By William J. Des Rochers, Fluvanna Field Representative

Fluvanna County’s Board of Supervisors held an all day/evening meeting to perform numerous housekeeping chores and receive public comments on the proposed FY2012 budget and tax rates. They got an earful.

Public comments regarding the proposed tax rates were sharply divided. Those opposed to any tax increases cited the current poor economic conditions, the hardships any increase would inflict upon fixed income residents, and the difficulties many already have in paying taxes.

One speaker, citing Office of the Treasurer statistics, said that the tax delinquency rate amounts to twenty five percent of all tax notices sent out in the county.

Those who favored the proposed tax rate largely came from the school community in the county. They argued that the schools should be funded fully to the School Board request (adding approximately another $1 million in the school budget).

The supervisors advertised a real estate tax rate of $.57 per $100 of assessed value. Currently, the rate is $.54. The effect of the increase is:

  •  A 5.5 percent increase over FY2011;
  •  Approximately a $1 million revenue increase – one penny increase in the tax rate amounts to about $350,000; and,
  •  A $75 increase in the annual tax bill for a residence and land assessed at $250,000.

Separately, the supervisors are considering a larger increase in the personal property tax. Currently the rate is $3.85 and the Board has advertised a rate of $4.15, a 7.8 percent increase. If enacted, the new rate would:

  • Increase revenue by approximately $500,000 – or the equivalent of $.014 of real estate tax;
  • Increase the tax on a $20,000 vehicle by $44 (assuming it qualifies for state tax relief), and,
  • Be in the middle of the nine jurisdictions in the region.

The Board also plans to increase the personal property administrative fees.

The Board also heard comments on a proposed $59.3 million budget for FY2012. Most speakers either urged increased funding for schools or complimented the supervisors for holding the line as much as possible. The budget increases total expenditures by 2.2 percent, most of which is debt service. Highlights of the budget include:

  • No increase in the county contribution to education – it would remain at the FY2011 level of $13.7 million;
  • $250,000 for a real estate reassessment in 2012; and,
  • An additional $606,000 for high school debt service.

The Board will make its final decisions at its next meeting on April 20th.

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William Des Rochers is the Fluvanna County Field Officer for the Free Enterprise Forum, a privately funded public policy organization.  If you find this report helpful, please consider supporting the Free Enterprise Forum.  To learn more visit www.freeenterpriseforum.org

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