By. Bryan Rothamel, Field Officer
With the Fluvanna Board of Supervisors considering a budget of $75 million, no one spoke during the public hearings on April 5 for the budget or tax rates.
The supervisors advertised a budget with a real estate tax rate of $0.907 per $100 assessed. The equalized rate for last year was $0.882 per $100.
The supervisors advertised no change to the personal property rate of $4.35 per $100. The business related personal property is proposed to lower from $4.35 to $2.90 and a machinery and tools from $2 to $1.90.
The budget is much of the same from the previous year. The schools were bumped up $320,000. The county is starting to pay the lease for the emergency radio project this year.
Before opening the public hearing the supervisors were updated by staff regarding changes since their last meeting. The slight changes could let the supervisors lower the real estate tax rate or fund items that were previously not funded.
Previously the board tried to find other cuts including an attempt to go line item by line item led by Patricia Eager (Palmyra District). After going through two line items, it proved to be more time consuming than ability to find cuts.
“About three years ago when we were on hard times, we went through the budgets,” chairman Mike Sheridan (Columbia District) said during that work session.
The Fluvanna budget is is hard to maneuver much. The advertised budget includes 13.8 percent of the expenditures going towards debt service. The rest of the budget is heavily affected by salaries.
Don Weaver (Cunningham District) estimated at the last work session that 80 percent of the budget is staffing.
“It is very difficult to cut 20 percent,” said Weaver at the time.
The public hearing on April 5 was only attended by three members of the public, three media members and various county staff and constitutional officers.
The Board of Supervisors will meet to debate and possibly adopt the budget on April 12 at 7 p.m. in the Circuit Courtroom. The board can postpone a vote until April 19 without effecting the operations of the Treasurer’s office to get tax bills mailed.
The 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.
Photo Credit: Fluvanna County
By. Brent Wilson, Field Officer
At their December 21st meeting, the Greene County Planning Commission endorsed (4-1) the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) and sent it on for consideration by the Board of Supervisors for their first January 2017 meeting.
The required Public Hearing was held at the November Planning Commission meeting. Chairman Jay Willer prepared a memo to go with the CIP when it is presented to the Board of Supervisors. This memo stressed the importance of two projects – the water and sewer project and the school expansion project – both have been vetted by outside consulting firms.
Unfortunately, the timing of the passing of the CIP to the Supervisors is too late to benefit the upcoming budget cycle which has already started. The proper timing would be to have completed the CIP in the fall to be able to use the results to help project the expense budget of the county. Hopefully this template can be used at the beginning of the next budget cycle as the document is intended.
Willer expressed satisfaction with the format of the CIP and stated that it is a major step going forward. The only change to his current memo would be to stress the priority of the water and sewer project and school project should take priority.
With a vote of 4-1 – Commissioner Frank Morris voting no – the Planning Commission endorsed the plan agreed to forward to the Board of Supervisors for their action.
Brent Wilson is the Greene County Field Officer for the Free Enterprise Forum a privately funded public policy organization. The Free Enterprise Forum Field Officer program is funded by a generous grant from the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® (CAAR) and by readers like you. To support this important work please donate online at www.freeenterpriseforum.org