Charlottesville City Council approves FY 2024 budget
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - On Tuesday night, April 11, Charlottesville City Council met for a special session. It took one last look at the final version of the fiscal year 2024 budget and unanimously voted (5-0) to approve it.
The final budget includes an extra $2.19 million that was added in the last draft.
“The city manager presented the fact that we had a little more revenue than we were thinking we would have. And so we took advantage of that by funding a number of programs that hadn’t quite made the cut,” Councilor Brian Pinkston explained.
The extra revenue partially came from personal property taxes, transient room taxes, and meal taxes.
“We didn’t increase the property tax. But, of course, assessments went up across the city,” Councilor Juandiego Wade said.
Wade says because of this, the city is able to invest more in affordable housing.
”We’re fortunate, in one sense, that the housing assessment goes up in cost. That’s hitting some citizens particularly hard. But that’s why we put some more money into housing programs, like AHIP, so that we can address those critical needs for housing,” Wade said.
The biggest change since the last draft was adding $850,721 to implement the employee compensation study, which will help make city wages more competitive.
Another big change was allocating half a million dollars to the Pathways Fund - a fund that helps save people from eviction.
”The investment in Pathways is critical for folks who are facing eviction or emergency bills, which with reductions to Medicaid and SNAP benefits is going to be a growing problem over the coming months,” Councilor Michael Payne said.
Payne said he would have liked to see a strategy to fund the redevelopment of Westhaven and a permanent Charlottesville homeless shelter in the budget.
”Those are longer term goals, but I think we have to begin now and we had a little bit of conversation about it. So hopefully next budget cycle we’ll get closer to getting there,” Payne said.
The next fiscal year begins July 1, 2023.
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