The budget battle in Prince William County continues.
Each year the Prince William Board of Supervisors goes through a budget process, with several meetings for public comment, markups, and changes.
According to the county code, the board has a legal requirement to approve and adopt a county budget by May 15, but it’s looking like there may be some delays.
A budget markup meeting, which was scheduled for April 14, was canceled after a vote from the board to move the meeting to April 19. This moves the timeline for budget adoption, as originally April 14 was meant to be the meeting where the supervisors went over each line of the budget, before moving to final approval on April 19.
In earlier meetings, when the advertised tax rate ceiling was being discussed, supervisors were tied in stalemate 4:4 votes over whether to approve the 3.88% tax increase outlined in the county’s 5-year plan, or to go with a lower number, locking the county in at a lower tax rate ceiling.
If the board were to adopt the 3.88% increase, it would cost Prince William homeowners an average increase of $145 per year, or around $12 per month, according to Supervisor Frank Principi.
At the public hearing for the budget on April 12, there were mixed feelings from residents, about whether or not to raise taxes.
“For the life of me, I cannot understand why we are satisfied to be last. We are last in local support for schools, in the region. We’re near the bottom in compensation for employees…it’s time for this board to stand up and say, ‘we’re tired of being last’. It’s time for us to be first,” said Prince William Education Association President Jim Livingston.
“The majority opinion that I hear expressed consistently is ‘hold the line on taxes’…I hear anecdotally from thousands of people about their personal financial situation…so I would ask for budgetary discipline,” said Delegate Rich Anderson, whose wife Supervisor Ruth Anderson is on the board.
Chairman Corey Stewart was not present for the April 12 public hearing and 7:30 p.m. meeting.
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