Stafford's Board Adopts FY25 Budget

Last night, Stafford's Board of Supervisors adopted its Fiscal Year 2025 Budget and Fiscal Year 2025–34 Capital Improvement Program. The FY2025 Budget takes effect on July 1, 2024, and includes a real estate tax rate of $0.9067. Before this meeting, the Board of Supervisors voted to advertise the real estate tax rate at $0.91. This is inclusive of the Fire levy.

Highlights:

The Board of Supervisors increased the School budget by $13 million, demonstrating the Board’s continued commitment to education. This increase will allow the schools to invest in pay raises for all school employees, recognizing their hard work and dedication to our community. Furthermore, the Budget includes increased Capital funding for ongoing maintenance projects.

Last year, the Board authorized a 6.5% yearly water and sewer user fee increase over three years. This is the second year of that phased increase. The funding is crucial for ongoing repairs and upkeep of Stafford's aging utilities system and capital construction projects, ensuring the reliability and safety of our water and sewer services.

Due to increased assessed values, the County’s fire and emergency services levy, which covers capital costs for fire and rescue services, has been reduced. The levy is $0.0131 per $100 of assessed real estate value, which is $0.0019 less than CY2024.

The Board did approve increases in the Cigarette Tax from $0.30 to $0.40 per pack to provide $512K in funds for ongoing projects. The Board also approved increasing the Transient Occupancy Tax to fund $832K to support Parks projects, such as replacing the Carl Lewis Building and investing in Musselman Park amenities.

The Board also made several strides in funding the Strategic Plan 2040 with focuses on employee retention, economic development and transportation.

The Board approved the FY2025-34 Capital Improvement Program as part of the Budget approval. The Board emphasized the need for new schools by continuing High School #6, beginning construction on Elementary School #18, and Elementary School #19 in FY2025. Design work will begin on a new fire station at Embrey Mill. Work on the 2019 Road Bond Referendum projects will continue with the Berea Church Road Improvement Project, the Route 1 and Telegraph Road/Woodstock Lane Intersection Improvement Project, Enon Road Improvement Project, Onville Road Improvement Project, Shelton Shop Road Improvement Project and Route 1 and Courthouse Road Intersection Improvement Project.

The FY2025 Budget goes into effect on July 1, 2024. The new tax rates are based on a calendar year and will be effective starting with the June 2024 payments. New Utilities fees also go into effect beginning July 1, 2024.

All information on the FY2025 Budget may be found at www.staffordcountyva.gov/budget. The Adopted Budget will be published on or before July 1, 2024.