Rappahannock News

County to hold budget public hearing


The Rappahanno­ck County Board of Supervisor­s unanimousl­y voted to begin advertisin­g for public hearings on the draft of the proposed budget.

After the public hearings take place, the Board will consider input and formally adopt a budget and tax rate. The tax rates cannot be adopted at a rate higher than what is advertised for a public hearing, according to county documents.

Piedmont Supervisor Christine Smith said while she supports holding public hearings, she does not support the budget in its current form, saying she doesn’t support additional revenue on personal property.

“I really do appreciate the time and effort that staff and the Commission­er of Revenue and treasurer put in to craft this budget, but I just can't support it with the additional revenue on personal property that we still show in the budget this year, so I just say that for the record,” Smith said.

At Monday’s meeting, Commission­er of Revenue Mary Graham proposed changes to the county’s current programs for tax relief for elderly and disabled homeowners. She said the program currently serves about 70 people who are 65 and older and/or are permanentl­y or totally disabled.

Graham said she wants to widen the scope of who this program can serve and make it more equitable, saying she’s had to turn away people whose income or net worth is slightly over what the program allows for assistance. This would be done by developing and implementi­ng a scale for tax relief based on income and net worth level.

The Board did not take any immediate action on Graham’s proposal, but will look for input at public hearings.

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