Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Supervisors approve tax increase

At an April 18 meeting, the Goochland Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a tax increase of a fraction of a percent. The tax rates for calendar 2016, 53 cents per $100 of valuation for real estate and 32 cents per $100 of assessed valuation for the Tuckahoe Creek Service District ad valorem tax, remain unchanged from last year.

Under state law, the supervisors were required to advertise the proposed tax increase because revenue generated by the 53 cent tax rate is more than one percent higher than that generated last year.

The January 2016 taxable values for the entire county increased by approximately 3.07 percent excluding new construction over the previous year. As assessments, for most land owners, have not yet returned to 2009 levels, tax bills will be lower than they were seven years ago. All other tax rates will remain unchanged from last year.

The fee schedule for animal protection was amended and a reduced charge for small trailers was added to the convenience center fee schedule. A modest increase in public water and sewer rates was approved. This applies to all users of county utilities.

The proposed budget as presented by the county administrator last month was adopted with some adjustments involving state funds and moving items from one category to another. The county’s General Fund budget for FY 2017, which begins on July 1, was adopted by spending category.

Both the county administrator and superintendent of schools were authorized to transfer up to $7,500 from the unencumbered appropriated balance of one category to another. No more than one transfer may be made for the same item causing the need for a transfer, unless the total amount to be transferred for the item does not exceed $7,500. Larger transfers require the approval of the board of supervisors, and for school items, the school board.

A request from the school board to have its budget appropriated in a lump sum, rather than by category, was declined by the supervisors. This “ask” was made in February, before superintendent Dr. James Lane announced he was leaving to run Chesterfield County Schools.

According to Deputy County Administrator for Financial Services John Wack, given the current vacancies in the positions of county administrator and superintendent of schools, the supervisors chose to retain the current policy of allocation by category. As the supervisors have never declined a request from schools to reappropriate funds, Wack said that they could change the policy at any time.

Board chair Bob Minnick, District 4, announced that the supervisors will meet in closed session on April 21 for interviews and deliberation about the selection of the new county administrator.

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