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Spotsy budget, tax rates pass

The Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved the budget and tax rates for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The real estate tax rate will remain at 88 cents per $100 of assessed value, and the personal property tax rate will stay at $6.37 per $100 of assessed value.

Supervisors voted 6–1 to approve the approximately $439 million spending plan, with Benjamin Pitts casting the dissenting vote. They voted 5–2 to approve the tax rates, with Pitts and Gary Skinner casting the dissenting votes.

In March, Skinner unsuccessfully proposed advertising a penny increase to the real estate rate. Pitts said at the time that he thought the tax rate needed to be increased even more to meet the county’s needs.

The county recently identified about $1 million in savings and cuts to one-time costs in the spending plan. That money will be in reserves until the county decides how to spend it, County Administrator Doug Barnes said.

Supervisors have indicated they plan to give at least $750,000 of the funds to the school system—which so far has received the same amount as last year. Supervisor Emmitt Marshall has proposed using the other $250,000 to help defray health insurance increases to employees and retirees.

Supervisors may vote on how to spend the extra $1 million—which can only be spent on one-time costs—at its meeting April 23. County staff is expected to present a proposal then on how to use a portion of it for reducing health insurance increases for employees.

Jeff Branscome: 540/374-5402