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Gloucester supervisors considering change to real estate tax rate, town hall scheduled

March 20–Gloucester County’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year might come with a change to the real estate tax rate — whether it gets higher or lower depends on how big a raise the county and school division give their employees.

At the initial March 5 budget proposal, County Administrator Brent Fedors pitched raising the real estate tax rate by 1.5 cents to 71 cents per $100 of a property’s assessed value.

That change, along with an increased revenue projection and keeping expenses flat where possible, would provide raises to all school and county employees. Fedors called it a fix to get their pay to the market rate.

Under Fedors’ proposal, county employees would see an average raise of 10 percent and school employees an average raise of 6.8 percent.

A week later, a possibility of lowering the real estate tax rate emerged. Fedors said county staff negotiated a reduction in health insurance costs, and Supervisor Phillip Bazzani suggested not doing the compensation fix all at once, instead doing a flat raise of 4, 5 or 6 percent for county and school employee pay in the upcoming budget.

Bazzani said he wanted to get the rate to 69 cents per $100 of assessed value, and Fedors said that was doable if raises were at the levels Bazzani proposed.

The actual tax rate will be the subject of a public hearing and will need to be approved by the board, along with the budget.

The proposed general fund operating budget Fedors presented is $66.67 million, an increase of $3.91 million over the current operating budget. Part of that boost comes from an expected $2.6 million in natural revenue growth.

Under the proposal, $59.77 million would go to schools, $1.86 million more than is going to the schools in the current fiscal year. That allocation is $1.35 million less than what the school division requested.

People who would like to weigh in on the proposed Gloucester County budget, which would take effect July 1, can do so at a town hall meeting Wednesday.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Chris Hutson and Vice Chairman Ashley Chriscoe will hold the meeting at 7 p.m. at the Colonial Courthouse, 6504 Main St.

For more information about the town hall, call county administration at 804-693-4042.

Jan Hooks, a retired shipbuilder, who was active in the 1979 strike that led to United Steelworkers Local 8888 being ablel to bargain on behalf of workers. The local won the right to organize 40 years ago this year.

Jan Hooks, a retired shipbuilder, who was active in the 1979 strike that led to United Steelworkers Local 8888 being ablel to bargain on behalf of workers. The local won the right to organize 40 years ago this year.

Jan Hooks, a retired shipbuilder, who was active in the 1979 strike that led to United Steelworkers Local 8888 being ablel to bargain on behalf of workers. The local won the right to organize 40 years ago this year.

Jan Hooks, a retired shipbuilder, who was active in the 1979 strike that led to United Steelworkers Local 8888 being ablel to bargain on behalf of workers. The local won the right to organize 40 years ago this year.

Local singer-songwriter Amanda Raye will perform at the new Vanguard venue in Hampton this Wednesday night. This video is of her performance in Portsmouth.

Local singer-songwriter Amanda Raye will perform at the new Vanguard venue in Hampton this Wednesday night. This video is of her performance in Portsmouth.

People gathered in Smithfield for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday, March 17, 2018.

People gathered in Smithfield for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday, March 17, 2018.

City Center held a small St.Patrick’s Day event called the Shamrock Festival Saturday March 17, 2018.

City Center held a small St.Patrick’s Day event called the Shamrock Festival Saturday March 17, 2018.

UVA had a devastating defeat to #16 Maryland Baltimore County in the first round of the NCAA tournament in Charlotte on Friday, 17, 2018. Final score 74-54.

UVA had a devastating defeat to #16 Maryland Baltimore County in the first round of the NCAA tournament in Charlotte on Friday, 17, 2018. Final score 74-54.

Reyes can be reached by phone at 757-247-4692. Follow him on Twitter @jdauzreyes.

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