Category Archives: Budget – Albemarle

Albemarle Supervisors continue review of $551.5M budget

Albemarle County Supervisors are in the throes of going through a $551.5 million budget and have held three budget work sessions including one that wrapped up today.  

The total budget is $551.5 million as we learn from Andy Bowman, the chief of the county’s Office of Management and Budget. 

“This is a decrease from last year of $35 million, or six percent,” Bowman said.

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Albemarle offering $100K in grants for Climate Action

Do you work for a group that may have a project that you think could demonstrate ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions? Albemarle County has announced a grant program to encourage innovation as a way to meet the goals to reduce emissions from fossil fuels to zero by 2050. 

“Projects can contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in transportation, buildings, waste, agriculture, and natural areas,” reads the website. “Projects can also contribute to increasing carbon sequestration in agriculture or natural systems.” 

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Albemarle County holds first public hearing for FY24 budget

For the first time since 2019, members of the community in Albemarle County had the opportunity to give public comments about the draft budget for the upcoming fiscal year in Lane Auditorium. 

“It was reality shocking that we had a couple of years when no one showed up for the budget hearings so it’s nice to see folks,” said Jack Jouett District Supervisor Diantha McKeel. 

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Albemarle Supervisors presented with $551.5 million budget for FY24

The process of adopting a budget is underway in Albemarle County with the release this week of County Executive Jeffrey Richardson’s nearly $551.5 million budget for fiscal year 2024. A public hearing will be held on March 1 before a series of work sessions where the six Supervisors will go through the budget line by line. (view the draft budget document)

“This budget is balanced on the same tax rates as the current year,” Richardson told the Albemarle Board of Supervisors at their meeting on February 22. 

That includes the personal property tax rate which will remain at the lowered rate of $3.42 per $100 of assessed value. The real property tax rate will remain at $0.854 per $100 of assessed value. The average real property assessment was up 13.46 percent, generating an additional $27,262,905.

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Albemarle Supervisors briefed on grant program to incentivize creation of below-market units

The Albemarle Board of Supervisors adopted a plan called Housing Albemarle in July 2021 that is intended to increase the number of housing units in the county. That came with a goal of requiring a minimum of 20 percent of new units to qualify as “affordable.” That’s up from 15 percent in the current policy which applies to units that need rezonings or special use permits. 

“At that time, the Board delayed full implementation of the policy until a package of the developer incentives could be identified and approved that would support developer efforts to meet the new goals of that policy,” said Stacy Pethia, the county’s housing policy manager. 

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Charlottesville real estate assessments up an average of 12.33 percent

For the second year in a row, the average real estate assessment increased by double digits, setting up conversations this week about additional revenue that will be generated for the city of Charlottesville.

Residential parcels increased by an average of 11.52 percent, based on 15,148 taxable properties. Commercial properties went up an average of 12.16 percent, and that includes apartment complexes, retail, and office space. When you throw in new construction, the overall average is 12.33 percent. 

Nearly 98 percent of all properties in Charlottesville went up in value, with just over one percent declining. 

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Albemarle preparing for end of COVID federal benefits

It has been two and three quarter years since COVID-19 was declared a public health emergency and much of the economy was shut down for a while to help reduce the spread of a virus that was still little known. Rules for federal benefits were altered for a while and now social services departments across the United States are scrambling to prepare for that period to end.

“The Department of Social Services finds itself responding to some pretty significant mid-year federal policy change which we predict will result in a significant increase in the workload required for us to manage this,” said Kaki Dimock, Albemarle County’s Director of Social Services. 

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Albemarle and Charlottesville set to collect plastic bag tax starting January 1

If you use plastic bags provided by grocery stores to take your food and beverages home in Albemarle and Charlottesville, it’s going to cost you slightly more. 

“As authorized through Virginia Code §58.1-1745, retailers will be required to charge $0.05 per disposable plastic bag provided to customers at checkout,” reads a press release sent out late Monday. 

The idea is to incentivize people to carry reusable bags. Revenue must go to specific sources including purchase of bags for people with eligible incomes, a marketing campaign for environmental education, or litter clean-up programs. 

The tax itself will be administered by the Virginia Department of Taxation. 

For more information: 

Are you a retailer? Are you prepared to implement the fee? What about a consumer? Will this change your behavior?


Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the December 20, 2022 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

 

Albemarle elected officials continue conversation on how to pay for $318M school capital request

Last week, the Albemarle School Board met with the Board of Supervisors for a work session on financial planning that will be required to help cover the school system’s request for $318 million over five years to build two new schools, buy land for a third, and renovate existing ones. I wrote up the details of the request last week and this next piece captures the discussions of how to pay for it. (review the presentation)

That part of the conversation began with a note from Andy Bowman, the chief of the county’s Office of Management and Budget, about changing one policy. Currently Albemarle seeks to cap the percentage of debt service to revenues below a certain amount. Bowman said one scenario would be to expand that to eight percent. 

“If we went to eight percent, there would be another $37 million under the county’s financial policies that could be borrowed that,” Bowman said. “That capacity is not planned for at this time because everyone at this table knows very well, that is not free money and we have to think about the other financial side. It’s just the borrowing but how it gets repaid.”

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