Spotsylvania News

Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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Barnes: No new taxes

MORE: Read more Spotsylvania County news

County Administrator Doug Barnes is presenting his proposed budget. The big news: Real estate taxes won’t go up. Barnes suggests keeping the rate at 86 cents. This means the average Spotsylvania resident would pay $1,493 in real estate taxes.

The budget proposes cutting six positions–but these are all jobs which are unfilled right now. The budget does not suggest any layoffs or pay cuts. It does suggest a 1 percent cost of living adjustment in January, which would really be 1/2 of a percent for the fiscal year.

Schools would get an additional $1 million if this budget is adopted. In an interesting twist, this is the first year in recent history where the county’s proposed budget will come out before the school budget. Superintendent Jerry Hill delayed his budget so he could factor in the state budget.

The budget is huge and will take some time to process. Luckily, the finance department added more graphics and illustrations this year. But here are a few highlights:

Public safety: Recommends four new firefighter/medics and $200,000 more money for training. The new circuit court and public safety building will open behind the courthouse. Budgeted money would go toward paying the debt for the building and adding three new bailiffs.

Public works: Recycling efforts would expand, cardboard and plastic would  be collected at all convenience centers and steel can recycling would be added in stages.

Parks and Recreation: Here, residents would see some added costs. Fees to play sports would increase from $40 to $45.

Social Services: Would add five positions to help with the large demand for services. As more people come for services, federal requirements on service haven’t changed. The proposed additions would help the Department of Social Services meet these mandates.


  • LarryG

    I’m disappointed that Mr. Barnes did not include the budget presentation in the agenda packet that the public sees.

    If he needs to embargo it until he presents it then how about making that note in the agenda packet and then make it available to the public at the time he presents it to the BOS.

    I do not see his presentation on the county website at this point.

  • Steve T.

    DJ and I will be doing our own alternative this year again. However- no line item budget available yet. We will pursue this.

  • aumble

    Larry, the information should be posted on the county site tomorrow. I’m not sure it will include all 358 pages.

  • LarryG

    Thanks Amy. I’m hoping you’ll provide a report on the UDA discussion. I have my view but I’d like to hear yours.

  • OffShore

    7. Wow! You are definitely a magician. I have always liked to know others feelings and thoughts, but I must say your article is one of the best I have read. And I suggest others to read it. OffShore

  • D.J. McGuire

    I, too, am curious as to Amy’s view on the UDAs (yours, too, Larry).

    As for the budget, I was unable to make the meeting last night (I teach on Tuesdays now), and the budget info is still not available on-line (although it is 7:45 AM).

    I do find it strange, at first glance, that the county is prepared to do just about everything except give property owners their first tax cut since 1975.

    Still, I’ll be better able to comment (to the extent anyone cares) when details are available.

  • Sammy W

    Well you didn’t ask me but I will tell you.
    #1 I’m pretty sick and tired of Government making up acronyms for stuff. I guess when you first hear U.D.A it begs your curiosity. Then it reveals itself as a faux city. Perfume on a pig in Spotsylvania if you ask me. Does this mean to hell with the rest of the county and lets just dress up certain areas?
    But on the positive side, I agree with the Board for at the very least trying to plan the future. I can’t wait to have another Home Depot and Wal*Mart in the UDA, just kidding… sarcasm.

  • Sammy W
  • LarryG

    Tanks Sammy!

    I’ll wait a bit to see if Amy does a separate article or thread on UDAs before I comment but my primary comment is that those folks don’t have things worked out yet and are not yet ready for prime time.

    I’ll provide more comment/views once we figure out the venue.

  • LarryG

    Here’s something worth noting IMHO:

    page 11 – I cannot get it copied and pasted but it shows for the major agency expenditures how they stack up against State county averages.

    We are UNDER the average in EVERY category except Education.

  • LarryG

    I wonder if they set it so content could not be copied on purpose?

    If they did – shame on them. That undermines the otherwise decent effort that they’ve made on transparency and accountability.

    too bad.

  • LarryG

    The county has changed the doc so the content can be copied. It was one accidently. And I thank them for fixing it.