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The original item was published from 4/13/2023 11:48:00 AM to 5/9/2023 3:48:26 PM.

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* Hampton City News

Posted on: April 13, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Proposed budget would cut property tax rate by 2 cents


April 13, 2023 — City Manager Mary Bunting offered highlights of her budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2024 on Wednesday, recommending a property tax rate cut of 2 cents per hundred dollars of value. That follows a 6-cent reduction last year.

Public hearings will be held April 26 and May 3, before the City Council votes on the budget on May 10.

If adopted by City Council, Hampton’s tax rate would be $1.16, lower than some neighboring localities. The total proposed budget for FY24 is $611,451,337. That’s a 4.5% increase from last year, below the 6.5% inflation rate for 2022. Council has already agreed to assess vehicles at 93%, due to lingering inflation of used-car values from Covid shortages for additional tax relief.

Residents would see increases in their monthly stormwater and wastewater bills, for a total increase of $1.73 per month, to pay for additional ditch maintenance and upgrades to those systems.

Hampton City Schools budget would be $272.7 million, which is an increase of 1.7%. The city-funded portion is $91.8 million, an increase of 7.4%. A presentation by the school system indicated that the budget would fund raises of 5%, plus step increases for teachers.

Bunting noted that the local contribution to schools is $38 million more than the state funding formula suggests. In fact, the total state gap in funding of state offices and mandates totals $61 million, including schools; the local supplements for the offices of the sheriff, treasurer, clerk of courts, commission of the revenue and commonwealth’s attorney; payments for Line of Duty Act coverage; and coverage of property taxes for disabled veterans. If these were fully funded by the state, Bunting noted, the city’s property tax could be as low as 75 cents per hundred dollars of value.

Bunting’s recommended budget also proposes:

  • 5% raises for staff
  • Step increases for sworn public safety personnel
  • Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour
  • Additional personnel in key areas (park rangers, codes inspectors, human services, public works, and resiliency)
  • Additional funding for outside agencies, including Transitions Family Violence Services, the Foodbank of the Virginia Peninsula, the Peninsula Agency on Aging, and the Center for Child and Family Services. The largest increase will go to the Community Services Board to fund comprehensive trauma counseling and violence-reduction efforts.

Highlights of the city’s proposed give-year capital budget were also presented, including:

  • Renovations at 20 schools
  • Little Back River Road improvements, including widening, sidewalks, a pedestrian/bike lane, and drainage improvements
  • Raising the height of North Armistead to bring it above sea level and preventing this essential roadway from flooding out during major storm events
  • Increased funds for building maintenance
  • Jail security improvements
  • Parks maintenance and improvements
  • A new fire station in Phoebus (FY28)
  • A new Bethel High Science and Math wing (FY28)

The full Manager’s Recommended Budget will be released April 15 online at Printed copies will be available in the city’s public libraries by April 18.

Fiscal Year 2024 begins on July 21, 2023.


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