Henry, Virginia (WRIC) – On Wednesday, March 2, Henry’s County released its proposed budget for next year, which is more than $ 1 billion in revenue as rising house prices contribute to tax increases.
Key proposals included a 5 per cent increase in district employees’ salaries, the hiring of 20 new police officers and a $ 511 million bond referendum scheduled for November.
Relief for homeowners, no for drivers
The county estimates that the total value of all real estate in Henry has risen to a staggering $ 5.4 billion, but homeowners and corporations will be safe from this increase as the county has announced a tax cut of “2 + 2” cents. bet.
That means a steady two-cent drop, bringing Henry’s property tax rate to 85 cents, the lowest in the Richmond region. This goes hand in hand with a two-cent tax credit to be paid to homeowners in the coming weeks.
While house prices rose 10.4% across the county, the valuation of vehicles – from which property taxes are levied – rose 18%.
The county has not announced a reduction in personal property taxes for Henrik residents – but has included a proposal to cut taxes on biotech equipment by 74% to attract high-tech companies.
Funding for schools under this proposal will be $ 762.9 million, which is definitely the largest part of the county’s spending.
The 5% salary increase will apply to all public school staff and is about $ 24 million in new spending.
Other priorities include new special centers at Hermitage and Varina secondary schools, expanding the out-of-school dream academy program to include 7th graders, and granting assistant staff status.
However, the biggest investment will depend on voters, as they are considering $ 511 million in proposed municipal bonds to fund the construction and renovation of schools across the county.
If the bond is approved, officials believe they will replace or significantly renovate all but one of the county’s schools in the county, built before 1970, in ten years, with one exception – Ruby F. Carver Elementary School in western Enrique.
Fire and police
The bond referendum will also fund major improvements to the county’s fire stations, with three planned to be completely rebuilt / relocated and four planned to be overhauled. The referendum also provides funds for a new animal shelter and a “Public Safety Training Center.”
The county is also increasing the number of staff, starting with 20 new police officers, doubling the number of new staff compared to previous versions of the budget. The fire service will also hire 11 new staff to staff the new fire station 23.
Finally, the budget proposal provided for additional investment in the district sewer system. Priorities include operating a new reservoir at Cobs Creek, improving drainage paid for in the bond referendum, and expanding the sewer system by $ 75.5 million.
Projects come as counties facing trial due to its inability to prevent sewage from the James River, but the proposed improvements will require increased water and sanitation fees for county residents.