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Gloucester faces challenges in budget development process

Gloucester County’s FY23 budget season is already underway. This year’s budget may be one of the more challenging in recent years. The crux of the challenge is due to recent changes supervisors made to use of the additional 1 percent sales tax.

The 1 percent sales tax generates funds that must be used for new construction and major renovation of schools. Last year, supervisors approved a budget for FY22 that used part of the sales tax proceeds for debt mitigation of past school construction and major renovations dating to the early 2000s. The mitigation of this debt alleviated pressure on the general fund, and allowed for other county projects to be funded.

At the end of 2021, Virginia’s former Attorney General Mark Herring released an official opinion that contradicted Gloucester’s use of the sales tax, deciding the proceeds could be used only for new school construction and renovation, and not debt mitigation.

The statement caused supervisors to change the county’s use of t...

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