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Sunday, May 19, 2024

James City County Approves One-Time 5 Cent Rebate for Citizens

JCC BOS members. Left to right; Mike Hipple, Barbara Null, Jim Icenhour, Ruth Larson and John McGlennon. (photo: JCC webpage)

JAMES CITY COUNTY — The James City County (JCC) Board of Supervisors (BOS) adopted the fiscal year 2025-26 budget with a one-time 5-cent real estate tax rate credit to citizens at its meeting on May 14.

Changes to the proposed budget came after a series of community conversations and public comment from citizens who opposed the 83-cent real estate tax rate.

The general fund budget increase will come from fee increases in JCC recycling, as well as from select JCC Parks and Rec programs, explained Sharon McCarthy, Director of Financial and Management Services.

School projects were decreased by $3.1 million with county projects reduced by $3.4 million.

These changes free up money to allow for the 5-cent real estate tax credit to be seen on citizens’ December real estate tax bill. The real estate tax rate will remain at 83 cents.

The real estate tax rate is set by the BOS annually and determines the amount of tax which is levied on property. This uniform tax rate is expressed in dollars per $100 of assessed value.

For example, a tax rate of 83 cents per $100 would result in a real estate tax of $1,660 on a property assessed at $200,000. With the one-time 5-cent rebate, taxpayers will essentially pay 78 cents per $100 in December.

JCC amended FY 2025-2026 budget (JCC Agenda Packet)
JCC amended FY 2025-2026 budget (JCC Agenda Packet)


“When I looked at what we needed to do in order to keep this the quality community it is, I reached the point where I say you know you can cut a little bit but when you start cutting a little bit more you’ll start to have an adverse impact on the quality of life and the ability on us to provide services to the people of this county. I know, it’s an increase and I think we all have to acknowledge that is the increase. But, we have made an effort to try and reduce the CIP (Capital Improvement Plan) as much as possible. I think the biggest problem for us is going to be next year,” stated Vice Chair Jim Icenhour.

Providing competitive compensation for county and school employees remains a concern for several board members.

The new county administrative building will continue to go forward. “Whether we stay here and put the money into [these] structures and, throw good money to bad, it’s still going to cost the same thing. We are better off to move into a new facility,” said board member Mike Hipple.

County Administrator Scott Stevens clarified a question from Hipple that the Williamsburg Sports and Event Complex is not funded through the JCC budget and comes out of the tourism fund paid for with hotel and motel taxes.

“As I understand it, from the County Administrator, the sports complex is paid out of the tourism fund, it does not come out of the general fund. I don’t want people to think we are subsidizing that out of our general fund. That would be the worst thing to come out of this meeting tonight,” stated Hipple.

Stevens explained, “If the tourism funds don’t continue to grow as they have and continue to support our commitment to the sports facility we might reduce our $1 million to the CIP or the next five-year cycle may have removed it anyway. It is my intent and belief that the tourism fund will support the sports complex for the foreseeable future and likely to the end of our commitment to it.”

The budget was passed unanimously.

JCC meetings and agendas are available on the county webpage.

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