Chesterfield officials have unveiled a proposed budget that would implement several tax relief measures and county employee compensation efforts in the upcoming 2024 fiscal year.
The county also shared on Tuesday that it plans to put up millions of local dollars to build the first phase of a proposed extension to Powhite Parkway, with construction anticipated to start in fiscal year 2026.
The county’s proposed budget for FY24 totals $1.9 billion, a 9.4 percent increase compared to the current FY23 budget.
“This is a budget that invests deeply in the core services that made Chesterfield County the place that it is and is able to provide a very comprehensive and diverse package of tax relief,” Deputy County Administrator Matt Harris said during a press conference held Tuesday to discuss the proposed FY24 budget.
Under the proposal, Chesterfield would increase the gross receipts threshold of its business professional and occupational license tax (BPOL) to $500,000. In doing so, about 86 percent of county-based businesses would be exempt from the tax, Harris said.
Chesterfield’s BPOL threshold is currently $400,000, a level set as part of the county’s FY22 budget. Currently the county estimates that about two-thirds of businesses are exempt from the tax.
The proposed FY24 budget also would shave a cent off the county’s real estate tax rate, lowering it to 91 cents per $100 of assessed value. On top of that, a 5 percent rebate would be included with the county’s real estate tax bills for June under the budget proposal.
The county proposes to raise the water utility rate to $2.43 per 100 cubic feet (from $2.36) and the sewer rate to $2.56 per 100 cubic feet (from 2.43).
A handful of pay increases are part of the FY24 proposal, which include but aren’t limited to: 10 percent increases to the starting salaries of first responders and county government employees; a 3.5 percent merit raise for eligible county employees; and a 7 percent raise for teachers.
Also included in the FY24 budget proposal is an increase in the county’s minimum wage to $16 an hour.
“I think that’s become a new industry standard,” Harris said.
For the extension of Powhite Parkway, the county would earmark $153.9 million (local funds and debt) of its $657.8 million five-year capital plan for phase one of that project, which would include an extension of the parkway to Woolridge Road and an interchange at Charter Colony Parkway. Construction on that project would start in fiscal year 2026.
“The Board of Supervisors and county administration are taking the lead to push this project forward and not wait around for state or federal partners. We hope to pick them up as we move forward but we are showing our cards and saying this is a priority for Chesterfield County,” Harris said.
County officials would like to see Powhite Parkway extended to Hull Street Road from its current terminus near its interchange with Route 288. The overall project has been estimated to cost $700 million. Harris said the road project would be key for the development of the county’s planned technology park near Moseley.
“This is an absolutely critical infrastructure project for us. Not only for general quality of life and traffic congestion, but also from an economic development perspective to make sure we can ultimately get to that Upper Magnolia tract,” he said.
Chesterfield is already underway on design work related to the parkway extension and technology park.
County staff planned to present the budget to the Board of Supervisors Wednesday (today). The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to consider adoption of the budget on April 5. Community meetings are planned throughout March, with a public hearing slated for March 22.
The FY24 budget would go into effect on July 1, which is the first day of the fiscal year. The proposed FY24 budget can be found here.
The extension of the Powhite to Woolridge and the completion of Woolridge to 288 will provide two traffic release points that are essential for Hull Street Road traffic. The air quality at 288 and Hull is among the worst situations of its kind in the Commonwealth. Doug Sowers extended Woolridge Road on his own nickel years ago and donated the right of way for the Powhite in anticipation that it would become an important interchange someday in the heart of his Rountree development. That gamble may finally pay off!
With all the homes in the area, plus the Woolridge Road extension to 288, the commercial plans in the Rountrey master plan may finally attract a grocery store!
So $1.15B for Henrico, $1.9B for Chesterfield, and Richmond is $3B? AND Richmond has the smallest population of the three counties. Does State Government and VCU cost the city $1B more to maintain?
Knowing all the mismanagement of the city, I still remain in the city…..
I like Chesterfield increasing their BPOL threshold. The cynic in me says it only covers the inflation, but anything is appreciated to help some small businesses grow!
the Current tolls on the Powhite Parkway raise a 11 million dollars a year if they doubled them from $0.75 to $1.50 they could raise 11 million dollars a year to pay for this construction project over 15 years by raising a $165,000,000 dollars and not need local dollars for this project which will drain funds from sidewalks.