No Tax Rate Increases in City’s Proposed $1.9 Billion Budget

Includes More Teachers, Police, New Fire-Rescue Station

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

​City Manager Dave Hansen today proposed a $1.9 billion budget for fiscal year 2016-17 that preserves the lowest tax rates in Hampton Roads, while funding 127 new school employees, 13 new police officers, a new fire and rescue station and the opening of a new recreation center.

The budget includes no increase in taxes and no increase in fees for water, sewer and storm water management. It proposes a $1.64-per-month increase for trash collection, disposal and recycling. That will cover replacing old garbage trucks and higher pension costs.
Despite adding 202 new positions, the budget is only 2 percent larger than the current budget. It is the city’s first budget since the recession that shows revenue growth without a major tax increase.
Under this budget, Virginia Beach would still have the lowest tax rates among the seven cities of Hampton Roads on:
·         Real estate
·         Cars
·         Meals tax rate
·         Machinery and tools
The proposed budget funds dozens of capital projects in the coming year. The six-year, $3-billion capital plan calls for 209 construction projects, among them:
·         Replacing the Lesner Bridge
·         Replacing the Kempsville Recreation Center
·         A new fire and rescue station in the Burton Station area
·         Extending light rail, a possible referendum and final City Council decision
·         Infrastructure for the Oceanfront arena
·         Replacing Princess Anne Middle School and Princess Anne High School
·         Replacing the police station in Kempsville
·         Alleviating flooding around Lake Holly and other neighborhoods
·         Expanding the citywide network of bikeways and trails
·         Many road and sewer projects.
On the operations side, the budget includes several new initiatives, among them:


·         Schools: Restores 127 positions, many of them lost during the recession. It also creates a new Entrepreneurship and Business Academy at Kempsville High School and replaces 23 buses.

·         Police: 10 new officers for general policing. This is the first year in a multiyear effort to increase the size of the police force.

·         Body cameras: 110 body cameras for police officers. This is the first year in a four-year project to supply 450 cameras. To support the cameras, the Police Department will hire three new employees and the Commonwealth’s Attorney will hire four new employees.

·         EMS: A new recruiter to attract and retain volunteers for the city’s 10 volunteer rescue squads.

·         Jobs: $1 million to attract high-paying jobs in biomedical and health care.

·         Mental health: Additional psychiatry services contracted through Eastern Virginia Medical School

·         Clean rivers and bays: 3 new positions to reduce water pollution.


The City Council will discuss the proposed budget over the next six weeks. The council will approve a budget and six-year Capital Improvement Program on May 10.


Citizens have several ways to comment on the budget:


Public hearings: Two hearings are scheduled, both at 6 p.m.

·         April 21 – Cox High School, 2425 Shorehaven Drive

·         April 26 – City Council chamber, 2401 Courthouse Drive


Virtual Town Hall: Citizens can recommend changes and leave comments at 


New online budget tool: An interactive tool that lets citizens suggest detailed changes to revenues and expenses, balance the budget and leave comments. Visit Balancing Act at


To read a one-page summary of the budget, visit here.


To read the complete budget, visit


To see an estimate of all your city taxes and where the money goes, visit Taxpayer Receipt at


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