Four-cent tax increase proposed

Despite the absence of an official state budget from Richmond, County Administrator John McCarthy has drafted a budget for the board of supervisors to consider, one that proposes a 4-cent real estate tax increase and the elimination of county decals.

The current tax rate is 65 cents per $100 of assessed value. A 4-cent increase in property taxes on a property assessed at $400,000, for example, would mean taxes would rise on that property from $2,600 to $2,760, an increase of $160.

That proposed increase will be considered at the board’s joint meeting with the Rappahannock County School Board at 7 p.m. April 28 in the high school auditorium and is designed to cover several things, McCarthy said. (The school budget must be adopted by May 5, while a finalized county budget is scheduled for adoption on June 2.)

Two cents is designed to help cover debt costs for Rappahannock’s portion of the Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail — payments that are not due until next year (FY 2016), although the jail is scheduled to open this June 17. The FY 2015 revenue from the tax increase will begin to build up the county’s general surplus fund in anticipation of the loan payments, McCarthy said.

The third cent, McCarthy said, will fund the next general reassessment (which begins in FY 2015), and the fourth cent is to fund all other increases in the county budget — including a two percent salary increase for county employees and funding for a deputy county administrator position (a proposal that was removed from last year’s draft budget).

Full story in next week’s Rappahannock News.