March 17, 2014
The Charlottesville City Council had the first of two sets of public hearings Monday night for the upcoming budget decision.
The first hearing was on the proposed real estate tax rate of 95 cents per $100 of assessed value. That's the same rate as last fiscal year.
The other hearing was on the recommended general fund budget of $150.6 million. That would be a 1.65 percent increase over last year.
City manager Maurice Jones says the biggest issue the city is struggling with this season is funding the schools.
At 33 percent, education makes up the biggest part of the budget. Jones says the city has had to pick up the slack in recent years as the state has pulled back its support of K-12 education.
But local organizations want to make sure city council members don't forget about their requests when they finalize the budget.
JABA CEO Marta Keane told council that the organization is looking at ways to cut back spending. She said, while she understands the city is under a lot of pressure from a lot of programs for support, they could use some help next fiscal year.
"We're projecting an almost 14 percent increase in the number of individuals that we will serve in fiscal year 15 and we were given a 0.2 percent increase in funding," said Keane.
Council will hold another set of public hearings on the tax rate and budget on April 7.
Adoption is scheduled for April 11.