JAMES CITY COUNTY — County Administrator Scott Stevens released his Fiscal Year 2024 Proposed Budget for James City County on March 28.
According to the county, the FY2024 Proposed Budget at $330.2 million is 42.7% above the last year’s budget, with the General Fund portion of the budget increasing 6.45% to $231.1 million.
The budget process involved several key considerations, including the goals of the county’s Strategic Plan, it said, as well as “providing exceptional services to the community, employee retention and recruitment, community appearance, and investing in new capital improvement projects.”
Current economic conditions also played a role, with the county saying unprecedented employment conditions have resulted in difficulties in hiring and retaining employees qualified to provide county services. The proposed budget provides for a $1,500 salary increase intended in April 2023 and a 5% raise effective July 1 for all employees that the county hopes will allow it to be more competitive in recruiting, hiring, and retaining qualified employees.
According to the county, budget highlights include:
- No tax rate change. The real estate tax rate is recommended to remain at 83 cents per $100 valuation. The personal property tax rate is recommended to remain at $4 per $100 valuation with an assessment ratio of 100%.
- Fee increases are proposed for the County’s Recreation Center, before and after-school programs, as well as ambulance transport services, which are impacted by Medicare rates.
- Increase in the transfer to Capital Projects and Tourism Investment Funds based on projected increases in sales and occupancy taxes that support these funds.
- Increases in the contributions to outside entities and the Williamsburg Regional Library.
- Funding for personnel costs for reclassifications of existing positions, market reviews, and related fringe benefit cost increases.
- Increase to contingency set aside for unforeseen operational needs, including WJCC School’s to be determined once the state’s budget is approved.
- An increase in the county’s operating contribution to the WJCC School Division of $4 million.
Follow a community meeting and a business meeting on the budget, the Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on the FY2024 Proposed Budget at the May 9 meeting at 5 p.m.
Once adopted, the FY2024 budget covers July 1, 2023-June 30, 2024.
The county said opportunities for input include:
- April 6 – 4 p.m. — Budget Community Meeting, 101 Mounts Bay Road, Building F and streamed live on Facebook, the website, YouTube and Cox Cable channel 88. Send questions and comments before the meeting to email@example.com.
- April 11 – 5 p.m. — Public hearing on Proposed Budget during the Board of Supervisors meeting. (101 Mounts Bay Road, Building F) Send input to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 757-253-6609 and leave a message.
In addition, a Board of Supervisors budget discussion will be held at its Business Meeting on April 25 at 1 p.m. in the Board Room at 101 Mounts Bay Road, Building F. Although there are no opportunities for public comments during business meetings, the public is welcome to attend. The meeting will also be streamed live on Facebook, the website, YouTube and Cox Cable channel 88.
The FY2024 Proposed Budget can be viewed on the county’s website.