Supervisors approve $107.5 million budget; no change in tax rates

By Heather Michon

Fluvanna residents will not see any increase in county taxes in the coming 2025 fiscal year (FY25), as the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the budget at its meeting Wednesday evening (April 17).

The final budget came out at $107,505,194. Tax rates per $100 of assessed value will stay at:

$0.844 for real estate;

$4.10 for personal property;

$2.90 for businesses and public

$1.90 for machinery and tools.

Finance Director Tori Melton said this would likely result in “no change for the average homeowner” in their FY25 real estate bills.

Melton said expenditures were 1.7 percent lower than FY24, driven primarily by a decrease in debt and a smaller capital improvement project (CIP) budget. The increases came from funding the school budget, the new emergency services department, and a rise in health care costs.

The budget will also fund four new full-time positions in emergency services and upgrade six positions in the county clerk’s office, along with a two-percent cost of living adjustment for county employees.


Shortly before the meeting, Commissioner of the Revenue Andrew Sheridan provided some updated revenue predictions that showed a surplus of $109,824. What to do with this unexpected windfall took up a large portion of the evening’s discussion.

Chair Chris Fairchild (Cunningham) said he didn’t necessarily feel the need to spend the surplus.

“I don’t mind having that go towards our tax rate,” he said, arguing against the “mentality of government” of spending excess funds rather than returning them to the taxpayers.

However, such a small surplus would only result in savings of $2-4 per taxpayer, so the members’ consensus was to revisit a couple of items that had come up during their months of work sessions.

The Fluvanna-Louisa Housing Foundation is a nonprofit organization that assists lower-income and elderly residents with housing issues, including services like roof replacements and access ramps for older homes. 

Each year, FLHF requests some funding from the county, usually in the range of $16,000-$22,000. 

This year, they requested $110,000—an increase of around 450 percent.

Supervisors couldn’t fulfill such a large request but did allocate $29,250, or about 25 percent over the FY24 funding level.

During public comments, FLHF Executive Director Kim Hyland thanked them for their consideration during the budget process. 

Hyland noted that the organization had not asked for an increase in many years, even as the costs of providing services has increased.

She made a final pitch for the value of the foundation. “You’ve put in a very small investment,” she said, “and every year it has paid back hundreds of thousands of dollars straight back into our community.” 

During their discussion later in the evening, Supervisor Mike Sheridan (Columbia) suggested increasing the foundation’s funding to $55,000. 

He found little support for that, with fellow supervisor Tony O’Brien (Rivanna) saying he found that amount “challenging” and Mike Goad (Fork Union) expressing concern about setting a precedent of going so far over their usual range for nonprofit funding.

O’Brien finally proposed an increase of $5,000, bringing the total to $34,250. Tim Hodge (Palmyra) seconded this motion, which won majority support.

Population study

Supervisors then turned to the issue of $30,000 in additional funding to the schools for a population study, which has been high on the School Board’s wish list for at least the last two years.

Population studies are designed to give school districts some insight into what their school-age population will look like over a period of several years. This can give districts some idea of how to allocate resources ahead of a surge in students and help the county anticipate when they might need to expand facilities or build new schools.

“I think this is something that needed to be done years ago,” Superintendent Peter Gretz told supervisors.

There was some confusion over whether this was a county expense or a school expense. In the end, the $30,000 was earmarked for the study but will be kept in the county’s contingency fund until needed. 

After those issues were resolved, they moved the remaining $78,999 surplus to the contingency fund.

The motion to approve the budget passed on a vote of 5-0.

“This was a strong budget season,” Fairchild later posted on Facebook. “Our new Board of Supervisors has worked well together.”

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