Chesterfield adopts FY23 budget with salary increases, tax rate cut

The Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors voted Wednesday to adopt a $1.8 billion budget for fiscal year 2023. (BizSense file)

Chesterfield County is upping starting salaries for first responders and teachers under its newly approved budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

The Board of Supervisors voted Wednesday to adopt a $1.8 billion budget for fiscal year 2023, an increase of $185.3 million over the current FY22 budget. FY23 starts July 1.

The board also approved a 3-cent cut to the real estate tax rate, bringing it to 92 cents per $100 of assessed value.

A particular focus in the drafting of the budget was workforce compensation and retention. The county has allocated $35.6 million, or more than a third of a $98 million increase to the county’s general fund, toward increasing pay for employees. The general fund is the main operating fund of the budget and is pegged at $905.1 million for FY23.

The budget earmarks $12.5 million to bump up starting salaries for first responders and avoid salary compression — or when the gap closes between the salaries of lower-level and higher-level employees.

The county is increasing the starting pay of sworn first responders by 12 percent. New police officers and firefighters will have a starting salary of about $53,000 and sheriff’s deputies will have a starting salary of about $51,000 after graduation from the academy, Deputy County Administrator for Finance and Administration Matt Harris said during his presentation to the board Wednesday.

Another $15 million will go toward wage increases for non-public safety and non-school county employees. County officials have said they plan to increase the minimum hourly wage of county government jobs to $16 over the next few fiscal years.

The budget adjusts the salaries of county government employees with below-median wages. The budget also provides a 5 percent raise to employees who don’t work in public safety or the schools, and who are beyond that threshold already.

The budget earmarks $60 million for salary increases for school division employees. Harris said the budget includes $36 million to increase the starting salaries of teachers and school-based positions by 9 percent.

Teachers’ starting salaries will be about $49,500. School-based employees include principals, assistant principals, guidance counselors, instructional assistants and psychologists.

Chesterfield officials have said the emphasis on workforce compensation comes from a desire to make the county a competitive employer amid a tight labor market and shifting economy.

Despite the trimmed real estate tax rate, the county expects real estate tax revenue to increase to $473.3 million in FY23 (a $55.9 million increase compared to the current fiscal year), as a result of increased assessments.

The county will increase its utility rates to $2.36 per 100 cubic feet for water and $2.43 per 100 cubic feet for sewer and halve its vehicle registration fee to $20 in FY23.

The county’s five-year capital improvement plan earmarks $612.9 million in county government projects and $451.3 million in school division projects.

In November, Chesterfield plans to hold a bond referendum regarding $540 million in general obligation bonds to finance county government and school division projects.

The Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors voted Wednesday to adopt a $1.8 billion budget for fiscal year 2023. (BizSense file)

Chesterfield County is upping starting salaries for first responders and teachers under its newly approved budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

The Board of Supervisors voted Wednesday to adopt a $1.8 billion budget for fiscal year 2023, an increase of $185.3 million over the current FY22 budget. FY23 starts July 1.

The board also approved a 3-cent cut to the real estate tax rate, bringing it to 92 cents per $100 of assessed value.

A particular focus in the drafting of the budget was workforce compensation and retention. The county has allocated $35.6 million, or more than a third of a $98 million increase to the county’s general fund, toward increasing pay for employees. The general fund is the main operating fund of the budget and is pegged at $905.1 million for FY23.

The budget earmarks $12.5 million to bump up starting salaries for first responders and avoid salary compression — or when the gap closes between the salaries of lower-level and higher-level employees.

The county is increasing the starting pay of sworn first responders by 12 percent. New police officers and firefighters will have a starting salary of about $53,000 and sheriff’s deputies will have a starting salary of about $51,000 after graduation from the academy, Deputy County Administrator for Finance and Administration Matt Harris said during his presentation to the board Wednesday.

Another $15 million will go toward wage increases for non-public safety and non-school county employees. County officials have said they plan to increase the minimum hourly wage of county government jobs to $16 over the next few fiscal years.

The budget adjusts the salaries of county government employees with below-median wages. The budget also provides a 5 percent raise to employees who don’t work in public safety or the schools, and who are beyond that threshold already.

The budget earmarks $60 million for salary increases for school division employees. Harris said the budget includes $36 million to increase the starting salaries of teachers and school-based positions by 9 percent.

Teachers’ starting salaries will be about $49,500. School-based employees include principals, assistant principals, guidance counselors, instructional assistants and psychologists.

Chesterfield officials have said the emphasis on workforce compensation comes from a desire to make the county a competitive employer amid a tight labor market and shifting economy.

Despite the trimmed real estate tax rate, the county expects real estate tax revenue to increase to $473.3 million in FY23 (a $55.9 million increase compared to the current fiscal year), as a result of increased assessments.

The county will increase its utility rates to $2.36 per 100 cubic feet for water and $2.43 per 100 cubic feet for sewer and halve its vehicle registration fee to $20 in FY23.

The county’s five-year capital improvement plan earmarks $612.9 million in county government projects and $451.3 million in school division projects.

In November, Chesterfield plans to hold a bond referendum regarding $540 million in general obligation bonds to finance county government and school division projects.

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Carl Schwendeman
Carl Schwendeman
2 months ago

Chesterfeild County is only putting in 3 million into sidewalks to build 4,950 feet of sidewalks they need to put in 6 million to build out 10,000 feet of sidewalks.