Stafford's Board of Supervisors adopted its fiscal 2022 budget and the fiscal 2022–31 Capital Improvement Program Tuesday night.
The FY2022 budget takes effect on July 1, and includes a tax rate of $0.97 and a personal property tax rate of $6.10.
Before the meeting, the Board of Supervisors did vote to advertise the real estate tax rate at $1.01, per the County Administrator's proposed budget.
Federal funding for COVID impacts through the American Rescue Plan Act and increases in the General Assembly budget provided the board the opportunity to adjust the FY2022 budget to the lower tax rate while moving forward with several initiatives to help our schools and community recover from this pandemic and move forward with future goals.
This budget also fully funds the schools funding request to provide a minimum 5% raise; realize all the teacher scale enhancements in the School Board's budget request; provide $1.4M in Service Scale enhancements and provide an additional $1.2M to provide for additional Service Scale enhancements or additional Social Service positions, alongside the schools commitment to finding additional savings within their budget.
Furthermore, the board authorized a 3% water and sewer user fee rate increase. On the advice of the County Attorney, they opted to defer action in increasing the cigarette tax until Stafford County is accepted onto the Northern Virginia Cigarette Tax Board.
The board also voted to repeal the Motor Vehicle License Fee (MVLF). And with this repeal of the MVLF, the board committed to a comprehensive funding strategy that establishes a dependable, equitable revenue source to meet transportation improvement needs, as outlined in the County's Strategic Plan 2040. This strategy includes changing the assessment ratio from 40% to 50% by the Commissioner of the Revenue, eliminating the MVLF and adjusting the Personal Property Rate to provide dedicated funding for the road bond and safety improvement projects.
As part of the budget approval, the board approved the FY2022-31 Capital Improvement Program. Highlights include purchasing and beginning the design of High School #6 in FY2022; $4.2M in County 3R (Repair, Replace and Rehabilitate) projects and $7.7M in School 3R Projects; and multiple road bond projects. This plan also includes the rebuild of the Aquia Fire and Rescue Station.
All information on the FY2022 Budget can be found at www.staffordcountyva.gov/budget, including the Proposed Budget Book, a Budget Summary and the County Administrator Budget Presentation.