Spotsylvania News

Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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83-cent tax rate

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Spotsylvania’s budget analysts are now presenting a budget based on an 83-cent tax rate. Last week, Supervisor Jerry Logan asked. to see such a plan. You may remember that this tax rate came up a lot at the public hearing on March 24.

The three cents represent the tax hike voted on last year. The equalized tax rate was 83 cents. And supervisors voted to add three cents, to a real estate tax rate of 86 cents per $100 of assessed value.

When County Administrator Doug Barnes introduced this year’s proposed budget, many latched on to the $6 million predicted surplus.

Some suggested this extra money proves that those three cents were unnecessary. And so county residents should get a tax break this year. Many said that the surplus makes it easy to choose what to cut. The county could cut taxes without cutting services, and only cut from the excess general fund balance.

But that’s not what the plan being presented tonight includes. This 83-cent plan does cut the surplus to $1.3 million.

But it also calls for cutting $1 million to schools, cutting firefighter positions and social workers.

Chairman Benny Pitts said he didn’t like a plan which so negatively affects schools and public safety.

Logan suggested the presented 83-cent plan was “a doomsday scenario” and not an accurate look at the true impact of a 3-cent tax cut.