Blog module icon

Newport News Now

N3 Blog header

Newport News Now is a daily e-newsletter that launched in March 2016. Articles that ran in our newsletter between March 2016 and March 2018 are available on these pages. Newsletters produced beginning in April 2018 can be viewed on our new daily newsletter page.

View All Posts

Mar 28

Recommended FY 2018 Operating Budget Presented to Council

Posted on March 28, 2017 at 9:56 PM by Communications Department

No real estate tax rate increase proposed for next fiscal year

At the City Council work session yesterday afternoon, City Manager Cindy Rohlf presented the Recommended Operating Budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2017 and ending June 30, 2018. The total FY 2018 recommended budget is $866,865,256, which is 0.96% higher than the adopted current fiscal year budget. Public hearings for the budget have been set for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 11 at City Hall, and 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 13 at the Denbigh Community Center.

“This recommended budget funds our pension and health care obligations, maintains funding to schools and infrastructure, funds initiatives that support our Strategic Priorities as well as invests in our valued employees,” says Rohlf. “I look forward to working with City Council and receiving input from citizens we continue through the budget process.”

The principal source of revenue for the General Fund is Real Estate taxes. There is no real estate tax rate change recommended for FY 2018, and the rate will remain level with the current fiscal year at $1.22 per one hundred dollars of assessed value. Real estate assessed values are expected to grow for the third consecutive year with an overall projected increase for all properties of 1.07%. A majority of residential assessments, however, will remain unchanged with commercial and apartment/condominium properties showing increases. Personal Property Tax revenue and Sales and Meal Tax revenues are also anticipated to increase due to continued consistent growth.
For the self-supporting User Fund fees, higher expenditures are expected for the upcoming fiscal year. Those are primarily driven by state or federal mandates and by the same demands as the General Fund (i.e., pension, healthcare, and salary increases). This makes user fee increases unavoidable for the Water and Sewer charges, as well as for Stormwater fees. In general, for an average household of four with a 2017 real assessment of approximately $175,000, the average total annual increase for water, sewer and stormwater user fees is $22.20. The proposed budget maintains the services that citizens expect of the City of Newport News – no services will be eliminated. This includes funding for the City’s contribution of $118,300,000 to the School Division, which includes an additional $2.38 million for school employee raises.

Other budget recommendations include:
• An average merit increase of 3% based on performance for eligible City employees effective July 1, 2017.
• Higher health insurance premium costs, resulting in an increase of $3.3 million to the General Fund.
• Lower debt service payments for outstanding General Obligation Bonds supported by the General Fund equal to approximately $1.76 million or 4.7% less than the current year amount.
• City funding for 35 Community Support agencies. Regional Organizations to which the City belongs are to receive a slight increase in funding over FY 2017. Additionally, Hampton Roads Transit’s funding will increase for operating costs and limited route changes.
• Funding for a Day Services Center for the homeless in the amount of $320,273. The Center will provide shelter and access to basic human needs for the homeless, including health services, integrated case management, housing assistance, and training and learning opportunities.

The entire FY18 Recommended Operating Budget can be viewed on the Department of Budget and Evaluation’s website.

Other Actions
All items on last night’s regular City Council meeting agenda were approved, and the entire Council meeting can be viewed on-demand.Under the “New Business” agenda item Council voted to make Acting City Manager Cindy Rohlf the new City Manager.

Next Meeting
The next regular meeting of the Newport News City Council will be Tuesday, April 11th. City Council typically meets the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month at 7:00 pm in City Council Chambers, City Hall, 2400 Washington Avenue. Meetings are shown live on the City's Cable Channel NNTV (Cox Ch 48/Verizon Ch 19) and are streamed live on City Council meetings are also available to be watched on-demand the day following the meeting. Oftentimes City Council holds work sessions in the 10th floor conference room of City Hall in the afternoon before the regular meetings. Work sessions are open to the public. Agendas for work sessions and regular meetings are available online in the Agenda Center the Friday before the meeting.