By. Bryan Rothamel
PALMYRA – The Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors will be presented with a budget on Wednesday that decreases taxes, according to several sources close to the budget process.
The budget proposal will increase school funding, by comparison to last year’s budget. It will not increase it higher than what was additionally given over the course of the past year.
The sources were anonymous because they were not authorized to release budget information before the presentation scheduled for the 2 p.m. Feb. 6 meeting.
The real estate tax rate for fiscal year 2013 is $0.5981 per $100 assessed value. The equalized rate after reassessment is $0.81 per $100 assessed.
Reportedly, the budget proposed by Steve Nichols, county administrator, will call for a $0.79 tax rate. This would be a slight decrease in taxes.
The proposed budget also includes roughly $13.2 million for the school system. Last year the school district received $12.5 million in the budget. In May the schools were appropriated $600,000 for one time use. Then in November the supervisors voted to appropriate $300,000 to be taken out of fiscal year 2014.
The total funding for FY13, including all appropriations, roughly came to $13.4 million. However, the November deal created a baseline budget of $12.2 for FY14. The FY14 baseline budget does not include any appropriations and takes out the November compromise.
Using the information from the sources, the proposed FY14 funding would increase from the baseline by $1 million.
The proposed budget, reportedly, also includes funding for county employee raises and some funding for non-profit groups, although the sources wouldn’t fully describe how much.
Fork Union supervisor Mozell Booker wouldn’t comment directly on the administrator’s budget until it is presented on Feb. 6 but said, “I’m going to be advocating for more than $12 million (FY13 school funding level).”
Booker also said she wants to see raises for employees, career tech courses at Fluvanna County High School and funding for non-profits and core services (fire, rescue and Sheriff’s Office).
Bob Ullenbrunch (Palmyra District) also would not comment on the administrator’s budget proposal until Wednesday but said, “I am looking closely at funding for the senior center and parks and rec [sic], along with proper pay increases for the Sheriff Department employees. We need to get them up to levels for employment longevity.”
He also commented he wanted to see what the School Board needed and wanted for FY14.
Chairman Shaun Kenney (Columbia District) declined to comment on the budget process at this time.
Nichols could not comment on the budget until it is presented to the board during the Feb. 6 meeting. The 2 p.m. meeting will have a full presentation plus handouts available. At that time, the proposed budget will also be publicly available on the county’s website.
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