Last night, Stafford's Board of Supervisors adopted its Fiscal Year 2024 Budget and Fiscal Year 2024–33 Capital Improvement Program. The FY2024 Budget takes effect on July 1, 2023, and includes a real estate tax rate of $0.93 and a motor vehicles personal property tax rate of $5.49 ($2.745 effective rate). Before this meeting, the Board of Supervisors did vote to advertise the real estate tax rate at $1.145.
The Board of Supervisors provided a $16.2 million increase to the School budget, the largest increase in history. The increase includes a 5% percent pay raise for all school employees. The Budget also includes several enhancements to public safety, such as one new fire crew, six new deputies for the Sheriff's Office, 11 school protection officers and a Homeland Security investigator.
Furthermore, the Board authorized a yearly 6.5% water and sewer user fee increase over the next three years. The increase will fund ongoing repairs and upkeep for Stafford's aging utilities system and capital construction projects. It will also allow the Department of Utilities to keep pace with the inflation costs of electricity, chemicals and other goods. Typical residential bills for a single-family home will increase by approximately $6.20 monthly.
Stafford added a new fire and emergency services levy to cover capital costs for public safety. The levy is $0.015 per $100 of assessed real estate value.
The Board approved the FY2024-33 Capital Improvement Program as part of the Budget approval. The Board emphasized the need for new schools by starting Elementary School #19 in FY24. Work will continue on Elementary School #18 and High School #6. Work will begin on a new fire station at Embrey Mill. Work on the 2019 Road Bond Referendum projects will continue with the Garrisonville Road Widening, Route 1 and Layhill Intersection and Leeland Road Widening projects.
The FY24 Budget goes into effect on July 1, 2023. The new tax rates are based on a calendar year and will be in effect starting with the June 2023 payments. New Utilities fees also go into effect beginning July 1, 2023.
All information on the FY2024 Budget may be found at www.staffordcountyva.gov/budget. The Adopted Budget will be published before July 1, 2023.