New Kent proposing one-cent real estate tax decrease in FY15

NEW KENT – New Kent County is proposing a one-cent real estate tax rate decrease in Fiscal Year (FY) 2015.

County Administrator Rodney Hathaway is proposing a $65.24 million FY15 budget, and a real estate tax drop from 85 to 84 cents per $100 of assessed value. That means that a homeowner with a house valued at $150,000 will pay $15 less than last year.

Despite the decrease in real estate taxes, the revenues are estimated to increase $931,609. Personal property tax revenues are also estimated to increase $2,986, sales taxes by $78,282 and meals tax revenues by $40,178.

 According to Hathaway, the increases reflect “continued strong growth in the location of new retail establishments to New Kent.”

 In response to a fiscal analysis performed by the county, public utility water and sewer system rates are proposed to increase six percent, though residents won’t see any increases to connection or availability fees.

The county’s proposed FY15 budget also includes the $12.68 million Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), which includes projects such as: financial software, park development, fire engines, vehicle replacements, airport taxiway repair, and a 100-foot ladder fire truck.

Other budget highlights include: 7.2 percent health insurance increase, 1.9 – 0.32 percent increase in Virginia Retirement System (VRS) group life rates, $96,348 transfer to debt service, $389,382 for four new employees (three full-time, one part-time), $482,508 for debt service related to the historic high school renovation project, and a $1.05 million increase in the General Fund.

As proposed, New Kent County Public Schools will receive $13.1 million, or 54.5 percent of the General Fund revenue increases. If approved as presented, the schools will receive a $570,000 increase over last year’s budget.

The School Board held a public hearing on its $28.7 million budget on Wednesday, March 19 at 5:30 p.m. in the historic courthouse.

The Board of Supervisors is expected to hold its budget public hearing in May.

The proposed budget can be viewed online at www.co.new-kent.va.us.

Martin can be reached by phone at 804-885-0040.