On Tuesday, April 16, 2019 the Goochland County Board of Supervisors adopted the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Budget, which begins on July 1, 2019.
The adopted FY 2020 County Budget at $87.5 million advances county priorities, maintains the real estate tax at $0.53 per $100 assessed value for Calendar Year 2019, and includes several tax reductions and fee-related initiatives.
The adopted FY 2020 Budget priorities focus on enhancing high quality core services including Education, Public Safety, and Community Health. Public Education reflected in the adopted budget with a 3.3% or a $740,000 increase in local funding for FY 2020. The Public Safety departments are another key focus area and include increases of 9.4% or $1,014,075 for operations and personnel. Specifically, it allows nine new full-time public safety positions to enhance services for residents, broken down it includes seven new full-time fire fighters, one full-time position in the Sheriff’s Office, and one full-time position in Building Inspections.
The adopted budget also accomplishes several tax reduction and fee-related initiatives to improve customer service and workforce efficiency, support the promotion of economic investment, and to create more parity with our regional competitors. Taking care of those most in need in our community, the adopted budget increases in the real estate property tax relief program for the elderly and disabled from $800 to $900 and decreases in the personal property tax rate for all citizens to $3.95/$100. Additional tax changes include a new rate of $2.00/$100 for disabled veterans, a 50% reduction from our current rate, and a simplification of the business license tax schedule with no fee for gross receipts less than $10,000 (up from $4,000) to support small business development and expansion. The County also created a personal property tax rate for data centers at $0.40/$100 to promote further investment in this market sector.
Other highlights of the adopted FY 2020 Budget include a 3% merit compensation increase for all County employees, and the County and Schools Twenty-Five Year Capital Improvement Program (CIP) containing $576.8 million for forecasted projects. The first year of the CIP for FY 2020 is $5.1 million and includes investments in transportation, public safety, education, and facilities maintenance.
Coinciding with the FY 2020 Budget, the Board of Supervisors adopted a new schedule of all County fees that was created to serve as a transparent, comprehensive resource for all citizens and developers. Fee schedule changes approved include the elimination of the annual vehicle license fee, small kennel adoption fee increases to insure all adopted animals leave the shelter spayed or neutered, a decrease in the conditional use permit fee for towers to promote new opportunities for cell and broadband internet provision, and finally, a decrease in peddler’s fees to spur entrepreneurship and further business investment.