N E W S R E L E A S E
April 8, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jody Puckett, Communications Director
County FY2015/2016 proposed budget released
Acting County Administrator Doug Powell has released his proposed Fiscal Year 2015/2016 (FY15, FY16) biennial budget for James City County. The proposed budget for FY15 increases 2.2 percent over last year’s budget to $175.25 million and the FY16 budget plan increases to approximately $178.5 million or 1.9 percent. The budget continues a fiscally conservative approach to revenues and spending.
The real estate tax rate remains at 77 cents, a tax rate that has not changed since 2007. For the second straight reassessment period, values of residential real estate have declined. On average, a home that was valued at $300,000 in FY12 has paid $131 less annually in real estate taxes in FY13 and FY14. That payment will drop an additional $37 in FY15 and FY16.
With limited revenue growth, the budget focuses on three spending priorities: Public Safety, Schools and Stormwater. The County will fully fund the Williamsburg-James City County Schools request of $79,354,599, an increase of over $1.4 million for operations. Public Safety comprises more than 50 percent of County Operations with growth over $1 million in FY15. Of the total increase in County operations, over 67 percent will go to Public Safety.
Stormwater regulations are impacting communities all over the Commonwealth of Virginia through State and Federal mandates. To partially meet those mandates, a new fee, the Virginia Stormwater Management Program Fee, will apply to new development and is based on the Statewide fee schedule for a variety of permits and registrations. The County is required to remit a portion of that fee revenue to the Commonwealth.
In the next five years, the County’s General Fund contribution to debt service will increase by $800,000 per year. In FY15 and FY16, this increase will absorb over 20 percent of the revenue growth in each year. In addition to the retirement of current debt, this increased contribution will help the County achieve the fiscal capacity to borrow money to address future school growth.
A one percent raise is proposed for County employees and a net increase of 6.5 new positions for FY15, most of which are in Public Safety to address workload issues resulting from County population growth. Those include one police officer, three firefighters, three Emergency Communications officers and one part-time secretarial position for the Commonwealth Attorney’s office. One temporary billing technician position in the Fire Department is proposed to become full-time.
Two part-time positions are included, one in the Treasurer’s Office and another in the Stormwater division. An inspector position has been reallocated to Building Safety and Permits to focus on workload issues. Two full-time and two part-time positions have been eliminated from the budget as well.
The FY15 Capital Budget totals $11,585,000 and focuses mainly on capital maintenance issues and mandated water quality improvements. Funding is recommended, as a placeholder, to acknowledge the need for additional middle school classrooms, most likely for a new middle school. The remaining four years of the Capital Improvement Plan equals $46,235,000. Unfunded projects include a new central office for the schools, neighborhood drainage projects, second phase of the County’s fiber network, replacement school buses, new trails and sports facilities and school classroom technology. If revenues should increase, the additional funds would be recommended for Capital Projects.
Citizen feedback on the proposed FY15/FY16 budget can be given in a number of ways:
Public hearing: April 22, 7 p.m.
The Board of Supervisors has scheduled three budget work sessions with the budget adoption anticipated on May 13. All meetings are open to the public, may be watched on Cox Cable Channel 48, the County’s live streaming (jamescitycountyva.gov/jcctvlive) and on demand (jamescitycountyva.gov/jcctvondemand.)
- April 22 - Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting - 7 p.m.
- April 28 - Work Session - 4 p.m.
- April 30 - Work Session - 4 p.m.
- May 5 - Work Session - 4 p.m.
- May 13 - Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting - 7 p.m.