March 8, 2014
Several parents and teachers spoke out during a town hall meeting for the White Hall District of Albemarle County. Many are hoping for a shift in the way things have been going so far with the budget and proposed tax rate.
Albemarle County Supervisor Ann Mallek held her 12th town hall meeting for her district.
She gave people the opportunity to speak out about the issues facing the county. Some people spoke on traffic concerns and hunting issues, while many were concerned about the school board's budget and the advertised tax rate.
“They're concerned about what they perceive as a giant leap in the advertised tax rate,” says Mallek. “It is higher than I am planning to support, but it was where we could get four votes to advertise something and literally I just said fine, let's get this going.”
The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors agreed on an advertised tax rate of 80.8 cents per $100 of assessed value during their Wednesday meeting, which is four cents more than last year.
Supervisors can lower that rate, but that would mean putting more strain on the budget for county schools, which already have to make up a $7 million deficit.
“We've cut staff, we've increased class sizes, we've cut professional development and other things to try to meet the low economy,” says Teresa Tyler, parent and teacher for Albemarle County Schools.
White Hall District residents say the board should approve the rate in order to make sure education doesn't suffer.
“I think there are a lot of people in Albemarle Co. that care about our students, care about education,” says Tyler. “We want to have the best place to live for everyone and putting this tax rate and funding the budget the best we can will certainly do that.”
“I will be working non -stop between now and the 8th of April to find more answers to more questions, try to figure out solutions,” explained Mallek.
A public hearing to discuss the advertised tax rate for Albemarle County is scheduled for April 8th at the county office building. The board will then set that rate on April 15th.