No One Cares about Albemarle’s $400 MILLION Budget?

*Yes, it’s a deliberately antagonistic headline. I know.

Alison Wrabel at the Daily Progress wrote a great story on Sunday about the lack of engagement/participation in the Albemarle County budget process. I wonder … why are people not participating? (bolding mine)

Three community meetings about Albemarle’s fiscal year 2018 budget have attracted a total of six people this year. A live tweet session seemed to get a lot of views, but no interaction.

Only three residents spoke at the county’s first budget public hearing on Feb. 21. Two residents went to the first community meeting on March 6 and one resident went to the second community meeting on March 15. The live tweet generated likes and retweets, but there were no budget questions posed to the county’s Twitter account.

Interim County Executive Doug Walker’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2018 proposes no increase in the real estate tax rate but relies on a 5.8 percent revenue increase over the current budget from increased property assessments and other income sources.

The School Board’s funding request totals $181.1 million, including a $530,811 funding gap.

The low attendance follows attempts by county staff to move meetings to better fit residents’ preferences. The second community meeting was held at 10 a.m. because county staff had heard that some residents were not comfortable driving at night.

Related (looking at Albemarle County)

Jason looked at some data.


Charlottesville Tomorrow has more

Walker said property assessments were higher than expected.

“We were anticipating a 1.8 percent increase in assessed value and with the reassessment we are experiencing a 2.9 percent increase,” Walker said. “That has real dollars attached to it that we can talk about.”

The proposed budget is 5.8 percent higher than the current year based on a total revenue increase of $21.9 million. Walker’s proposed budget includes $17.4 million in increased expenditures.



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