QUESTION: What Are the Spending Priorities in the Recommended Budget and How Can I Get Involved?

FACT: We have provided information about the City’s Operating and Capital Improvement budget proposals in several formats, from short to the complete documents. 
The Executive Summary provides a broad overview of the spending priorities of the budget, which are determined by City Council after citizen feedback. If you’d prefer to watch the budget presentation​, you can do so on the City’s YouTube channel at any time. There are numerous ways to get involved through public comment and councilmember town halls.

The City of Virginia Beach is a $2 billion a year operation. Budgeting everything from animal control to zoning to building roads and bridges is a complex process. It’s also the most important process the City goes through each year. The budget is a bl​​ueprint that establishes funding levels and priorities for City operations and infrastructure construction.

City Manager Dave Hansen presented his recommended budget to City Council on March 26. Council will review that and, following briefings from City department leaders and citizen feedback, adopt the final budget on May 14.​

What’s in the Budget?​​​​​​​​

Storm Water, Recurrent Flooding and Sea Level Rise Mitigation:

The Fiscal Year 2019-20 (FY 20) Capital Improvement Program (CIP) dedicates includes $55 million in next year’s CIP, and $395 million by 2025, to address critical infrastructure needs. In fact, funding for this priority area will account for 23% of all capital investments, up from 7% just three years ago. This is part of an overall plan to invest as much as $3 billion over the next 50 years.

The upcoming budget proposes a fee increase of an additional penny along with the already scheduled 2.5 cent increase, totaling 3.5 cents, to the storm water utility Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU) fee and a 1.5 cent increase on the real estate tax, to help pay for the additional investments in storm water projects.  The proposed operating and CIP budget documents and summaries are available here

P​​​​ublic Safety: 

41 new FTEs are being proposed throughout the public safety departments.
  • Civilianization of several police department positions allowing 12 police officers to return to field positions
  • 6 FTEs to the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office for processing body-worn ca​mera footage
  • 15 FTEs for the Fire Department and 8 FTEs for Emergency Medical Services to staff the new Burton Station Fire/EMS Station


Over the next six years, the City is set to invest $291 million into the Roadways section for initiatives such as road construction, maintenance, traffic calming in neighborhoods and congestion relief at intersections. Among the areas slated for improvements:
  • Centerville Turnpike
  • Intersection of North Great Neck and London Bridge Roads
  • Intersection of First Colonial Road and Virginia Beach Boulevard
Congestion relief and intersection improvements will happen in order of priority, not in order of spending.​


The proposed budget includes all necessary funding to continue the current expansion of all-day kindergarten, numerous improvements to school safety and includes a net increase of 79 FTEs. While the school board has requested .85 of one penny in additional funding to accelerate the implementation of all-day kindergarten, this was a supplemental request by the School board and not included in either the School’s Adopted budget nor the City Manager’s proposed budget. 

Economic Development: 

Growing our economy has been, and remains, a longstanding Council goal. Through key projects such as the dome site and investments in biomedical and cyber security target sectors, the 17th Street revitalization project, and the Lynnhaven Corridor, we can continue to grow our economy and help pay for the quality and quantity of services our residents have come to expect.

Currently, there are no proposed increases to:

  • Personal property tax
  • Vehicle registration fees
  • Cigarette tax
  • Meal tax
  • Hotel tax
There is a $2 per month increase proposed to the waste collection fee (currently $23) and a 49 cent increase to the household water rate as a result of the renegotiated water agreement with Norfolk (currently $4.41 per thousand gallons). 

More information, including the complete proposed budget, can be found at​.

How Can I Get Involved?

There are several ways to provide input and learn more about the FY20 budget.
  • Attend one or both of the upcoming budget hearings.
    • 6:30 p.m. on April 24 at Old Donation School
    • 6:00 p.m. on April 30 at City Hall
  • Try out the Balancing Act​ tool to create your own city budget. Once you’ve got a balanced budget, you can submit it. It will be compiled and given to City Council, with other submissions, for review.
  • The Taxpayer Receipt shows you exactly how every penny of your tax dollars are being spent. Simply answer a few questions and the program will instantly display your receipt.
  • Attend any town hall meetings by your council representative. They’re a fantastic way to provide one-on-one feedback to your councilmember.
    • If you can’t make any of the meetings, you can always send an email. Contact information is available at
  • Read the FY20 Executive Summary. It will provide readers with a summary of the upcoming budget and detail the goals it aims to achieve.
If you’ve made it this far and still have questions, the Budget & Management Services Office is available to answer your questions. Send an email to​, and they’ll be able to assist you. 

Contact Information

VB411 - The City Manager"s Proposed FY2019-20 Budget