March 9, 2005
Albemarle residents spoke openly about County Executive Bob Tucker's budget recommendations for the next fiscal year.
Unlike the city's budget, the county's budget calls for no change to Albemarle's real estate tax. "On a relatively low tax rate when we looked at other localities Albemarle County's current tax rate is 76 cents per $100 evaluation. We actually operate on 66 cents because we have to transfer 10 cents to the city," said Tucker.
"After having looked at my latest real estate tax assessment I groaned and wondered what in the world has been causing property values to sky rocket so in this county. I had to think one of the reasons the county has become such an attractive place to live is its outstanding school system," said an Albemarle County resident.
Tucker's spending plan also includes more money for the Albemarle Schools, but there's still about $1.3 million difference between the available revenues and what the County School Board has requested.
"We have a surplus, thanks to our tax assessments to approve next years superintendent budget," said an Albemarle County resident.
Supporters said the included 4.4 percent increase in the merit pool for pay raises isn't enough.
As for the fire department, 85 percent of their operational costs were covered by the county this year. Now Tucker is offering them 100 percent, which some think is clearly needed.
"We really need help from the board of supervisors," said a supporter.