top of page

Latest District 4 Newsletter

FY2025 Proposed Budget

 

Hello all,

 

A quick note, this is going to be a longer-than-normal newsletter because I have a lot to cover with you. So grab your favorite beverage and find a comfortable spot before you start to read.

 

As most of you are probably aware, we are quickly approaching the FY2025 budget adoption scheduled for May 7th. All the budget details and summary documentation can be found on the FY2025 budget portal. But let me share a few highlights below.

 

The proposed budget is coming in at about $266M. That is a $12.5M increase over the FY2024 budget and was driven by the following expense commitments we needed to absorb:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some quick explanations to the line items above:

  • The $1.1M VRS increase is the additional contribution the Virginia Retirement System required the county to fund

  • The $4.1M inflationary increase is the estimated increase it will cost to operate county services in FY2025

  • The $2.3M school transfer is the additional funding allotment we negotiated with the school division to address their 2025-2026 operational costs

  • The $605K for the four sheriff deputies include patrol cars and equipment in addition to salary/benefit costs

 

While some of these line items are fairly typical for an annual budget there are some large ticket items we didn't initially expect (e.g. the VRS contribution) or came in much higher than in previous years. I know these are unattractive numbers but I want to be as transparent as possible with this year's proposed budget composition.

 

So, how is that budget put to use? To help visualize that, here's a breakdown of how each tax dollar is invested:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see in the above picture, we continue to invest heavily in our school division and public safety with almost 70% of your tax dollars going to those two items. These are areas I remain committed to because:

  • If you have children or grandchildren attending our schools I'm sure you appreciate the value in that investment as I did when my children moved through Dare Elementary and Grafton Middle before graduating from Grafton High. Even if you no longer have children in our school system, there is a clear correlation in communities that invest in education and the quality neighborhoods that we enjoy living in. Basically, good schools drive good neighborhoods. Investing in our schools is also an investment in our communities.

  • Our quality of life is heavily dependent on the level of support we give our public safety teams. Knowing that we have well trained and experienced first responders available to quickly arrive and provide security or aid is invaluable. Having the expectation to walk out of our homes to shop, dine, enjoy our parks and waterfront in a secure environment is something that we're able to enjoy in York County.

The remaining ~30% covers the costs for the other county services we count on. This also includes contributions we provide in support of our various constitutional offices.

 

With all that, your first basic question is probably: what has been done to reduce the tax burden while providing those services in the upcoming fiscal year? Especially in light of the significant property assessment increases we've all recently experienced. I'm happy to share that reduction is expected to come from three sources:

  • Reducing the real estate tax rate from $.77 per $100 of assessed value to $.74 per $100

  • Reducing the personal property tax from $3.90 per $100 of assessed value to $3.85 per $100

  • Eliminating the annual per vehicle registration fee

 

The vehicle registration fee elimination is an item I've been pursuing since last year and I introduced the personal property tax reduction proposal during our last Board meeting. These three adjustments combined drive almost $6M out of the budget.

 

Making adjustments in those areas will provide tax burden relief to the broadest segment of county residents. These recommended tax rate reductions follow the trend we've established over the past two years of rate reductions. You can see the history of our tax rates during the last five years in the following table.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, what does that all mean in 'real world out-of-pocket' expenses. I know all those numbers above can be difficult to conceptualize so we performed some calculations to summarize those expenses. The table below uses the Edgehill neighborhood as an example in those calculations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At a glance, this table shows that after the real estate tax rate reduction and the vehicle registration fee elimination, York County homeowners will see an out-of-pocket tax expense increase of $28.30 per month or $339.63 per year on average. Of course, your experience will vary depending on your personal circumstances but you can estimate your impact by comparing your 2024 home value against the example above. Also, this table doesn't take into account the proposed reduction in the personal property tax rate. That additional change should that further reduce the average monthly/yearly increase as well.

 

I know that any type of tax increase is undesirable, especially in our current economy with so many people experiencing their own unique expense challenges. But this proposed budget strikes the best balance between minimizing the tax burden and our responsibility to provide all the expected county services at a level everyone depends on.

 

A large part of the challenge in developing an annual budget is not just calculating the impact it will present in the next fiscal year but the impact that budget will have in the following years. We asked the question: what would be the impact of removing just one more cent from the real estate tax rate ($.74 to $.73)? The projection for that single change showed that in just two years we would need to begin working on a new budget with funds insufficient of what would be necessary to operate the county. Making even that small of a change now would be fiscally irresponsible based on that forecast. We are witnessing other localities proposing tax rate increases or not recommending any rate decreases, even with their own sizable property assessment increases, due, in part, to unsustainable cost reductions in the past. That is not a position we want to place ourselves either in the near term or the long term. We want to provide better financial management than that.

 

2025 York County Youth Commission

 

I know this newsletter is running long with all the information I wanted to share regarding the budget but please bear with me for one more quick item.

 

The county is seeking applicants from our 9th to 12th grade youth community to serve on next year's Youth Commission. The York County Youth Commission serves as a communications link between the youth of York County and the Board of Supervisors by researching and presenting student issues, problems, needs, ideas and suggestions. The YCYC also makes recommendations regarding programs provided to youth and participates in their establishment when appropriate. Service on the YCYC increases members’ knowledge of local government and provides opportunities for leadership skills development and close teamwork with other students from across the county.

 

I've had the pleasure to represent the Board of Supervisors on the Youth Commission for the past few years and I highly recommend it to any of our high school students motivated to serve and represent their peers in a leadership capacity. More information can be found on our Youth Commission portal. Applications can be found here.

 

Please hurry though. There are still positions available but the application window closes this Friday at 5:00 PM.

 

 

Best regards,

Stephen

Reading the Paper

Subscribe to my District 4 newsletter

Thanks for subscribing!

Previous Newsletters

Chick-fil-A Anyone?

General Assembly Visit

2024 Property Assessments and VDOT Update

Princess Cruise Lines Update

Holland America Update

2023 Election Follow-up

Candidate Meet-and-Greet Notice

Election and Voting Records Information

Quick VDOT Update

Tropical Storm Ophelia Info

VDOT Route 17 Survey

Princess Cruise Line update.

York County election candidate update.

Lakeside Drive update and recycling information.

Lakeside Drive VDOT resurfacing project.

Campaign resource usage and funding overview.

2023 election summary.

Budget cycle & real estate assessment overview.

Real estate tax reduction impact for 2023 summary.

FY2024 budget approval summary.

Public hearing regarding the FY2024 budget plus information on the Sherriff's office Autism Acceptance program

YMCA Annual Victory at Yorktown Races announcement and information.

bottom of page