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The James City County Board of Supervisors will host a community meeting this month for each of its five districts.
The meetings will be used for residents of the district to discuss concerns with their elected representation on the board of supervisors and county staff.
They will also serve as opportunities to discuss the county’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which runs from July 1 through June 2016.
County Administrator Bryan Hill is scheduled to release his budget for the upcoming fiscal year later today. The first meeting is for residents of the Roberts district and is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the James City County Government Complex off Mounts Bay Road.
The supervisors and county staff began discussing the budget for the upcoming fiscal year in February at a couple of Saturday work sessions. During the most recent session Feb. 21, the board instructed Hill to advertise a potential tax increase of 8.2-cent per $100 of assessed value.
The 8.2-cent proposal represents a high point for any tax increase, and while all of the supervisors except Mary Jones (Berkeley) agreed at the Feb. 21 session that an increase is likely necessary, they did not settle on 8.2 cents as the final increase. Rather, it represents the highest amount the supervisors will seek as they work to craft a budget by May.
Hill told the supervisors at the Feb. 21 session the 8.2-cent figure represents what he needs to take care of looming issues like maintaining the county’s bond rating and meeting school costs while maintaining quality of life for residents.
The new rate would add about $240 per year to the tax bill of the owner of a $300,000 home. The rate has not been raised since 1996, and it has been cut several times since the start of the recession.
At a board meeting on Feb. 24, Supervisor Jim Kennedy (Stonehouse) said the proposed tax rate increase was “not being taken lightly” and the county has in recent years reduced taxes, eliminated stormwater taxes, cut the vehicle decal fee and let county jobs go unfilled.
“We don’t know what else gives,” he said.
After Thursday’s Roberts District meeting, the other four districts will have meetings through April 23. The schedule is as follows:
- Berkeley District, 6:30 p.m. April 9 at the James City County Government Complex
- Stonehouse District, 6:30 p.m. April 13 at the James City County Library
- Powhatan District, 6:30 p.m. April 16 at the James City County Recreation Center
- Jamestown District, 6:30 p.m. April 23 at the James City County Recreation Center
Anybody who requires special accommodations for the meeting should call 253-6728 at least three days before the scheduled start time.