Fluvanna Chairman Sheridan Wields Tax Rate Swing Vote

By. Bryan Rothamel, Field Officer

The Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors budget season is winding down and guesses where the vote will end are still speculating.

Throughout all the work sessions and discussion, there are still obvious divisions on where the supervisors sit on the issue.

Conservatives Patricia Eager (Palmyra District) and Don Weaver (Cunningham District) are standing pat at not raising taxes. The current real estate tax rate is $0.899 per $100 of assessed value. The personal property tax rate is $4.35 per $100 of assessed value.

"You just can’t continually raise rates every year," said Weaver at the April 6 board meeting. "You can’t do that."

Eager added, "I think [raising rates] is a bad precedent…There’s no end."

Mozell Booker (Fork Union District) and Tony O’Brien (Rivanna District) have been quite open to a $0.92 real estate tax rate.

A tax increase of 2.1 pennies would fund new positions in the Sheriff’s Office, E-911, Convenience Center, Social Services and Library. It would include a pay increase for staff, establish a capital depreciation fund, matching grand funding for a commercial kitchen, increase fire and rescue funding and allow more legal advertising of county functions.

Under the $0.92 tax rate, schools would get $700,000 additional funding over last year’s base and $300,000 for technology upgrades will go into the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).

No raise in tax rates means all of the above does not happen. Schools would only get $400,000 over last year’s funding and the $300,000 for technology would still stay in the CIP.

There is still $170,000 in the staff’s proposed allocation of a flat tax rate budget to move some things around.

It seems Eager and Weaver are tied together as Booker and O’Brien are.

Sheridan2014That leaves Chairman Mike Sheridan (Columbia District) as the tie breaking vote. The biggest issue? Last month he asked to see a budget with a $0.91 tax rate.

Staff has recommended a tax rate of either $0.914 or $0.92. The difference between the two are $171,000.

The supervisors spent a lot of time on the budget only to be in the predictable position of Eager/Weaver and Booker/O’Brien pairing together.

The board will meet on April 13 at 7 p.m. for a public hearing on the budget and CIP. On April 20 the supervisors are slated to vote on the budget.


bryan-rothamelThe Free Enterprise Forum’s coverage of Fluvanna County is provided by a grant from the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® and by the support of readers like you.

Bryan Rothamel covers Fluvanna County for the Free Enterprise Forum

Photo Credit: Fluvanna County

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