City Manager’s Budget Focuses on Schools, Projects in Cville
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va (WVIR) -
Charlottesville schools will face less of a shortfall next fiscal year if the city's proposed budget is approved. The budget proposal allots $1.5 million to schools, which would help fill the schools’ budget gap, leaving them with a $500,000 deficit.
What's good news for schools is bad news for smokers. City Manager Maurice Jones says the only tax hikes he’s proposing for the fiscal year 2015 budget will be on cigarettes. He proposes cigarette taxes rise from 35 cents per pack to 55 cents per pack.
City funding would also pay for a workforce development center downtown aimed at helping people get jobs.
Another $85,000 is in the budget for an urban design planner whose role would be to help plan major projects like the West Main streetscape.
"I think it's definitely needed to have someone in house to do that because it would bring some stability to those projects and some consistency as working through those different types of public infrastructure projects,” Jones said.
Without a tax hike, where will funding for all of these projects come from? Jones says the city is expected to get an extra boost of cash from personal property and meal taxes and real estate revenue.
This is just a proposal. Jones says now it's time for City Council to take a close look at the numbers and sit down with the school board to find a way to close the money gap in the school system.