Waynesboro Real Estate Tax, Stormwater Utility Fee Increases Pro - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Waynesboro Real Estate Tax, Stormwater Utility Fee Increases Proposed

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People who live in Waynesboro may be shelling out more money next year in real estate taxes and stormwater utility fees. Waynesboro City Manager Mike Hamp made the budget proposals during a meeting Friday.

After years of making do with shrinking resources, Hamp says it is time to begin restoring what once was.

"We’re now in year six of cost-reduction and austerity measures. It simply isn't a plan that is sustainable or healthy for the community in the long run," said Hamp.

His office would like City Council to consider a 2 cent property tax hike, increasing from 80 to 82 cents per $100 of assessed value.

“We're really focused on the core areas of public education, public safety, and regulatory compliance," said Hamp.

The biggest piece of the pie in the overall budget goes to schools. This year, they just tried to stay afloat. Because the funding formula would have allotted them less money, Hamp suggests making up the difference.

"Reducing the local contribution would not be helpful and supportive,” said Hamp. “So, we felt like $74,000 was manageable, we have a reserve established that we can apply those funds from."

The city manager's office also requested four more police officers. Those positions were eliminated in the wake of the recession.

Waynesboro is also looking at improving employee compensation after stagnant rates and adding a $2.35 monthly stormwater utility fee to meet regulatory requirements.

"It certainly isn't easy, but after five years of challenging budgets, you get better at it and more efficient with it," said Hamp. 

Waynesboro City Council will now have a week or two to digest all the information from the proposal.  The leaders will then come together for another work session to share their responses.

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