Stafford County is moving ahead with the FY2020 Proposed Budget process with a public hearing on Tuesday, April 2, 2019, at 7:00 p.m. To accommodate more participants, the location has been changed to the auditorium at Brooke Point High School, 1700 Courthouse Road, Stafford, VA 22554. The hearing is part of a series of meetings designed to move the Board of Supervisors forward to final adoption of the FY2020 Budget on April 16, 2019.
How does the budget process work? The County Administrator worked with County staff for months on defining the needs to complete the work of County government to fulfill the changing requirements of a growing population. The County Administrator presented the FY2020 Proposed Budget (the fiscal year runs from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020) to the Board of Supervisors on March 5. The Board discusses different aspects of the budget in multiple work sessions, including one with Stafford County Public Schools, until final adoption.
The Board voted at its last Board meeting to advertise a proposed tax rate of $1.03 per $100 of the real estate tax. To clarify, this is the advertised rate – not the adopted rate. This action gives the Board room to consider other community needs outside the proposed budget before they adopt a final budget and a final tax rate. This decision is important as the tax rate can only be adopted at the advertised tax rate or below, and cannot go any higher.
The April 2 public hearing is for citizen and stakeholder input. Each individual will have three minutes to provide comments on the budget to the Board. The Board is expected to conclude the budget process on April 16 with the potential adoption of the final budget.
The FY2020 Proposed Budget totals $618,782,451 for all funds, with 61.7% of the budget going to education. The total budget includes everything from debt service to capital projects. The General Fund is the day-to-day operating budget, where all local revenues are generated and ultimately allocated by the Board to support the services the County provides. The General Fund totals $315,272,970. The FY2020 Proposed Budget recommends no tax increase and focuses on meeting growth challenges – as Stafford has increased its population by 16% since 2010 – and fulfilling our commitments and meeting mandates. Highlights include an additional $3,736,407 for education funding, the funding of new public safety positions and taking steps towards enhancing employee compensation and retention. The budget also manages the rising veteran tax relief increases and continues support to Stafford’s community partners.
The complete FY2020 Proposed Budget Book, Summary and Presentation by the County Administrator may be found at www.staffordcountyva.gov/budget.