A $3.3 million budget shortfall is forcing Albemarle County to consider reducing school programs, among other money-saving measures, officials confirmed Tuesday.
County leaders had predicted a slowdown in the housing market, but County Executive Robert W. Tucker Jr. said in an e-mail to Albemarle schools Superintendent Pam Moran and the Board of Supervisors that â€œthe extent of the slowdown is greater and has occurred more quickly than expected.â€
The county collects real-estate taxes twice per year and bases its budget on revenue projections. This year, the county had projected that residents’ property reassessments would rise 5 percent. The new projection pegs the number at 0.8 percent, leaving the county with a hole to fill.
This demonstrates in painful term the perils of 1) basing your budget on hopes rather than concrete money-in-hand and 2) spending every nickel taken from the taxpayers.
It’s a shame that the schools depend so heavily on property taxes.