VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The proposed 2019-2020 budget for the City of Virginia Beach is set to increase by 3.6 percent, and includes a 1.5 percent real estate tax increase for infrastructure to deal with flooding and sea level rise — “public enemy number 1,” according to City Manager Dave Hansen.
Hansen sent the budget proposal to Mayor Bobby Dyer and the Virginia Beach City Council on Tuesday.
Hansen says the increase in real estate property tax will equal about $45 a year for a $300,000 home, and about a $1.05 per month increase to city utility bills.
“We are always weighing competing priorities and balancing service delivery needs,” wrote Hansen in his letter to city officials. “Achieving long-term goals takes dedication and commitment to making the necessary incremental decisions. Few of these decisions are considered easy and even fewer are free of opposing views. Some decisions are years in the making. Others require urgent action. All require a fundamental adherence to sound financial principles and alignment with desired outcomes.”
The budget outlines the top 5 priorities in the city, which include stormwater and sea level rise, public safety, transportation, schools and economic growth.
The budget also includes a 3 percent compensation increase for city employees, which Hansen says resolves issues with vertical pay compression for employees. He says hire lag salary funds will be used to avoid tax increases or cuts to essential services to pay for the salary increases.
“Our employees shine every day and they are extraordinary during emergencies,” wrote Hansen. “As the economy has continued to improve and job markets have become even more competitive, the City and Schools must commit to funding salaries that not only attract new employees to available positions but appropriately recognizes our current employees’ meritorious work.”
To read the fact card for a condensed breakdown of the budget, click here.