On Jan. 1, the county entered its fourth calendar year with ongoing financial challenges caused by the lingering national economic downturn, said Whiteway, and unemployment and underemployment continue to have a major impact on families and tax revenues within the county.
While local revenues remain relatively stable, Whiteway said state funding for education and other purposes continue to be well below the levels of 2007 and earlier. Payments toward retirement for school system employees that the Virginia General Assembly has delayed will begin to come due and will add more stress to the budget. In addition, the county must face the issue of pay for county and school system employees, none of whom has received a salary increase since July 2008.
During its budget process, the board of supervisors will continue to seek ways to reduce expenses through attrition, realignment of personnel, and cost efficiencies wherever possible, said Whiteway. He said that the goal of the upcoming budget session will be to preserve essential and important local services while limiting additional financial burdens on residents.