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Board may advertise 3-cent real estate tax increase

Budget public hearing to be set for April 17

The King George Board of Supervisors this week will review revised preliminary budget figures for the upcoming 2012-13 fiscal year that begins on July 1.

On Tuesday, April 3, (following our press time) Supervisors are expected to vote to advertise a 3-cent increase on the real estate tax rate. The public hearing is expected to take place on April 17.

Whatever amount is advertised would be the highest hike that could actually be adopted at a later meeting. Anything lower than that, along with no increase, could also subsequently be adopted.

The current real estate/mobile home tax rate is 50-cents per $100 valuation. It is

proposed to go as high as 53-cents per $100 valuation.

COUNTY GENERAL FUND
The proposed budget for the county general fund currently includes $33,284,638 down from the current 2011-12 general fund budget of $35,367,330.

SCHOOL BOARD OPERATING FUND
That does not include the School Board operating fund. The School Board total operating fund is proposed at $33,973,107 down from the current 2011-12 total operating School Board budget of $34,018,250.

The School Board’s requested increase would equate to a 10-cent tax hike. That is not going to happen.

The proposed budget is the recommendation from county administrator Travis Quesenberry.

It is based on his presentation of preliminary figures provided to Supervisors last week’s budget work session on March 26, with the assistance of deputy county administrator Donita Harper.

At that meeting, additional direction and guidance was provided from the board to make additional changes. Some of the changes are highlighted below.  

VRS
The proposed budget includes reducing the amount of estimated costs for the School Board’s proposed increase due to Virginia Retirement System (VRS) payments. That increase is still up in the air with the state’s General Assembly and the Governor.

The Governor’s proposal had been incorporated by the School Board, since it had nothing else to go by.

Lately, it appears that the VRS increases for school boards will likely be phased in over five years, if current talk in Richmond materializes into actual approved legislation.

MORE ON SCHOOL BOARD BUDGETING
The School Board’s budget request was for a huge increase in its 2012-13 budget, asking for $2,242,563 more from the county than for the current year, with fewer students expected than budgeted for in the current year.

The division is expecting an average daily membership (ADM) of 4,049 for 2012-13, compared to this year’s funding based on 4,161.

The state’s required local effort (RLE) for King George for 2012-13 is set at $8,746,617. The county administrator’s recommended budget proposes providing the School Board with $4,524,783 more than that. The proposed budget would also provide local funding from county taxpayers of $1,163,564 more than in the current year, to take up some of the slack from lower federal funding.

Supervisors have asked Quesenberry to request another joint meeting with the School Board to talk about its budgeting for the upcoming fiscal year.

Phyllis Cook

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