No tax increases in Gloucester
Gloucester residents will see no tax increases in next year’s budget. The $133 million proposed budget was presented to the county’s board of supervisors during its meeting Tuesday night in the colonial courthouse.
County administrator Brenda Garton said the proposed budget was developed under the assumption that there would be no increase in the current tax rates and there would be no borrowing. It was the consensus of the board during its first meeting of the year to direct Garton to form the budget with those two premises.
The board voted unanimously to advertise tax rates at their current levels, which are 65 cents per $100 of assessed value on real estate; $2.95 per $100 of assessed value on personal property and $1 on boats ahead of the public hearing on the budget, which is scheduled for March 24 at the T.C. Walker Education Center at 7 p.m.
“There’s really not a lot to say about it,” Garton said, as she was unable to fund any new programs with the proposed budget.
One of two primary drivers in developing the budget was funding the $1.2 million increase in debt service for the new Page Middle School and capital HVAC borrowing, Garton said. She also formed the budget, making sure county services are kept at current levels and board of supervisor initiatives, priorities, programs and directives are supported.
According to Garton, next year’s proposed budget was not able to incorporate the entire recommendation from the county administrator’s Capital Improvement Plan Advisory Committee and also does not include the entire recommended amount to fund the county and schools’ Vehicle and Equipment Replacement Fund.
Garton said the budget proposes level funding for the school system, and is unable to provide an additional $1.8 million requested by school superintendent Ben Kiser.