JAMES CITY - An alternative proposal submitted by County Administrator Bryan Hill would drop the proposed real estate tax increase under consideration by the Board of Supervisors from 85.2 cents to 84 cents. Hill's proposal will be presented at Tuesday night's board meeting.
Last week, at the county's final budget session, Supervisor Jim Kennedy asked Hill to present the board with an option that would keep the tax increase under 10 percent. Kennedy said keeping the tax increase under 10 percent would likely boost its support among the community.
The current tax rate is 77 cents per $100 of assessed value. The revised increase means the average homeowner would pay a little under $20 extra per month.
Reached Monday evening, Kennedy said he had not yet seen the alternative proposal. Other members of the board could not be immediately reached.
James City County supervisors are expected to vote on a budget Tuesday evening that could be the county's first tax increase in two decades. At least four members of the Board of Supervisors, including Kennedy, Chairman Michael Hipple, Vice Chairman Kevin Onizuk, and John McGlennon, have signaled they will likely vote for a tax increase, but last week they said they wanted to consider Hill's revised plan before making a decision.
Supervisor Mary Jones is the sole board member who has said she will not vote for any increase in the real estate tax rate.
Hill has outlined 5 strategic initiatives including stormwater management, cleaning the county, additional school buses and refurbishing of a school roof, economic development and replenishing debt services reserves that would be funded by the additional revenues.
In the alternative proposal, the county would halve the amount of money supplied to the school system for buying school buses.
In the revised budget schools would receive $500,000 and would have to rely on any surplus in their budget to purchase additional school buses.
The tax rate is further reduced by a recent county report showing a larger than expected assessment value of personal property taxes, providing an unanticipated boost of $260,000 to revenues.
Parks and recreation fees would be raised to collect an additional $100,000. Also, $188,000 is saved by funding a facility/road study for capital projects through the use of an anticipated surplus in the fiscal year 2015 budget.
The Board of Supervisors are scheduled to meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday night, at the James City County Government Center at 101 Mounts Bay Road, Suite F.