James City County residents may pay less in real estate taxes depending on what happens with Sen. Thomas Norment Jr.’s (R-James City County) proposed sales tax bill.
Interim County Administrator Bill Porter’s proposed budget includes a two-cent real estate tax reduction for county citizens, if the proposed sales tax bill becomes law.
“We wanted to ease the burden on residents,” Porter said during a budget press conference Friday afternoon.
Since 2016, the real-estate tax rate in the county has sat at 84 cents per $100 of assessed value.
If signed by Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, the sales tax bill will raise the sales tax in the City of Williamsburg, and James City and York counties by one percentage point. Northam has until April 9 to make a decision.
Half of the revenue from the increase would be directed toward marketing the Historic Triangle through the The Tourism Council of the Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance, while the other half of the revenue would be given directly back to the localities the tax was collected from.
If passed the bill would generate $5.5 million worth of revenue for James City County, Porter said.
The additional revenue would be used for new school buses, six new firefighter positions and three police officers positions, according to the proposed fiscal year 2019 budget.
Beyond the possible real-estate tax rate decrease, all other tax rates will remain level according to the draft budget.
In total, the budget increases spending by 4.2 percent to $204.5 million from the fiscal year 2018 budget. The 2019 fiscal year starts July 1 and ends June 30, 2019.
The supervisors will present the budget at a public hearing on April 10 and then adopt a finalized budget at its meeting on May 8.
A hard copy of the proposed budget is available for review at public libraries and at the county’s Satellite Services Office in Toano.