Supervisors dive into budget details

Supervisors dive into budget details


By Christina Dimeo, editor

With less than two weeks to go, the Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors is closing in on finalizing a budget and tax rate.

During a March 28 work session, supervisors and county staff ran through several budget iterations. Numbers were pulled, moved and shuffled; tax rates were hypothetically raised and lowered. By the end of the work session, supervisors had landed on certain ideas, but there is no guarantee those ideas will stick.

Previously supervisors had entertained the idea of funding the schools with $600,000 from their general fund balance – a pot of money often likened to the county’s savings account. At the beginning of the work session, that idea was out and the proposed money for the schools was halved to $300,000.

By the end of the work session the schools were back up to $600,000, with half of it coming from fund balance.

Perrie Johnson, chair of the School Board, urged supervisors to give the schools the full $600,000. “This is the first 5-0 vote we’ve had on a budget in years,” she said. “This is the first budget that I have voted for, because this is the first time I’ve been confident that we have looked everywhere that’s reasonable to look, and our staff needs to make some progress. I would encourage you to go the whole $600,000 as strongly as I possibly can.”

Superintendent Chuck Winkler agreed. “If you cut me an additional $300,000 I do not know how to make that happen,” he said. “I can’t continue to nickel and dime these people to death – my teachers, my staff.”

The schools hope to use some of the money to give their staff a raise and to hold them harmless for health insurance increases.

The final iteration of the budget at the work session also included a 2 percent raise for county staff starting July 1.

Supervisors ended the work session with a real estate tax rate of 92.9 cents per $100 valuation.

Extra dollars headed toward the county due to an increase in taxable values didn’t pan out at the $300,000 originally anticipated. Right now the number looks like $260,000. The county may also receive a $75,000 increase in sales and use tax money.

Supervisors will hold a special meeting April 11 to vote on the budget for fiscal year 2019, which runs from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019. They will also approve associated tax rates for calendar year 2018. The Board will hold a public hearing on both topics April 4 at 7 p.m. in the Fluvanna County Circuit Courtroom.

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