Share Your Thoughts on the City Budget – Online

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

​City leaders want to hear from you about the proposed 2015-16 budget.

We have created an online forum called Virtual Town Hall at www.VBgov.com/virtualtownhall where citizens can share their thoughts. Your answers to these questions will help guide the City Council’s budget discussions.

  • What suggestions do you have for the operating budget? Which revenues would you adjust – up or down? If you adjust revenues, which expenses would you change to balance it – up or down?

  • What suggestions do you have for the 6-year capital plan? What projects would you add? Which projects would you remove?

On March 24, City Manager James K. Spore proposed a $1.87 billion operating budget to the City Council. It is 2.2 percent more than the current budget — an increase roughly in line with the rate of inflation. It cuts 243 positions — 210 in schools (including 170 in the classroom) and 33 in the city (including closing the Pendleton Child Services Center and eliminating the sheriff’s DARE program).

 

The budget also includes increases in some taxes and fees, including a 6-cent increase in the real estate tax rate (per $100 of assessed value). Virginia Beach would continue to have the lowest real estate tax rate and lowest personal property tax rate in Hampton Roads.

 

On the spending side, the budget includes a six-year capital construction plan of $2.7 billion. This includes such major projects as replacing the Lesner Bridge, replacing the Kempsville Recreation Center, expanding Holland Road, public safety equipment replacements, building the new Housing Resource Center, extending light rail to Town Center, infrastructure for a private Oceanfront arena and improvements to sewers, drainage ditches and fresh water pipes.

 

Two public hearings are scheduled:

  • April 23 at 6 p.m., Green Run High School, 1700 Dahlia Drive

  • April 28 at 6 p.m., City Council chamber, 2401 Courthouse Drive

To view the entire proposed budget, there are two options:

  • To explore details of the budget, try OpenVB. It’s an easy-to-use, graphical alternative to wading through hundreds of pages of technical documents. Citizens can focus on any aspect of the budget – revenues, expenses, operations and capital projects – in great detail. Every detail is available – at the big-picture level or at the level of individual line items.

  • To read budget documents, either in online flip-book format or to download as a PDF documents, visit www.VBgov.com/budget. Three documents are available: an executive summary, a detailed operating budget and a detailed six-year capital program.

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