Board of Supervisors Budget Questions & Responses

During the budget development process, staff takes note of the questions asked by Board members and provides written responses to questions for which responses were not readily available at the time the questions were asked.

View each question and its answer in the table, or view all of the Board questions and responses.

Question Number
Board Question
Response Document
1What is the threshold for the requirement for a public hearing in regards to carryover?
2What capital maintenance projects were paid for with bond funds in fiscal year 2022? Specifically, how were bond funds budgeted and expended in fiscal year 2022 for the Spotsylvania Middle School project.
3Please provide details on what is included in the budgeted costs associated with the non-mandated funds of $61M identified in the presentation of the FY 2022 mandate costs. Response
4Please provide a comparison of the tax burden for Spotsylvania County and surrounding localities.

5How much revenue would be generated if the airplane personal property tax was increased by $0.10?  How many pennies could the vehicle personal property tax be reduced to offset the airplane tax increase? What are the airplane tax rates of surround localities? 
6Is there a plan for a new school in the Schools CIP? If so, what type of school (high, middle and elementary schools) and what is the timing of the need, if any?
7What inflation factor is included in the Schools CIP? Have the impacts of the recession, interest rates, and projected birth rates been factored into the CIP? If so, how did these factors affect the CIP?
8Please provide a breakdown of the number of teachers in each paygrade and step for high school, middle school, and elementary school.
9Please provide the current and past 10-year student enrollment and capacity per school.  Also, please include the total enrollment numbers and capacity for elementary, middle, and high schools.
10Please provide additional details on the Spotsylvania High School Innovation Center and the Special Education Needs projects in the Schools CIP.Response
11Please provide responses to the following list of questions regarding DSS reviewed regional agencies.
12How many pennies would the real estate tax have to increase to do away with the personal property tax for vehicles?  Are there other ways for the County to make up revenue loss from reducing/eliminating the personal property tax other than increasing the real estate tax?

13What is the current Elderly Tax Relief eligibility requirements and how much is the relief?  Please provide a comparison to surrounding counties if available.
14What is the Sheriff’s Office current turnover rate and in what years of service do they see the most turnover?
15When was the last increase the Sheriff’s Office staff received?  Please provide the percent increase and years as well as any bonuses provided. What is the starting salary for a deputy and how does that compare to surrounding jurisdictions? Please provide a history of pay raises for the lower end (deputies on the street) and then higher ups (Lt and above). Please include the actual salary amounts and the increases in addition to percent increases.
16What is the Sheriff’s Office plan for recruitment and retention?  Are they looking at alternative ways to attract talent i.e. participation w/ law enforcement agencies, FOP’s, etc.
17How much does the Sheriff’s Office have in Forfeiture & Seizure funds? What and when have they used those funds?  What is their plan for using those funds going forward? 
18How much money has the Sheriff’s Office received via grants that has been returned due to not having staff to work in those specific arenas where the grant funds are focused?
19According to the Schools budget online, there is a state funded increase of 5% ($6.1M) and 1% retention funding ($970K).  This particular slide states the amount will be reduced if the local match is not funded.  Estimated local funding is $8.1M.  Please clarify this information.
20Beginning on age 54 in the online Schools budget document, benchmark data is provided that compares Spotsylvania to other localities. Why is the cost per pupil higher in Spotsylvania than in Stafford? What is the sales tax cost per pupil? Why is the federal cost per pupil higher than Stafford? Why is the per pupil expenditure higher than Stafford?
21Please provide a detailed explanation on Schools steps. What constitutes a step? How many people are in each step? In follow up to budget question #8, what do each of the paygrade codes mean?
22How many job openings did the Schools have budgeted last year? How many positions were filled? Please include a break down for the positions by object description in the response.  
23How many mandated Schools positions are open?
24In follow up to budget question #14, What is the timeframe for the 4% turnover identified for the Sheriff’s Office, with 9 employees leaving? What are the reasons the Communications turnover is higher (19%)? Why are Communications staff leaving?
25The response to budget question #17 indicated that forfeiture and seizure funds were used by the Sheriff’s Office for fingerprinting extraction equipment. Was that expense already in the budget? Was there a grant associated with the expense?
26Please provide a list of all employee salaries and their position titles.  
27The online Schools budget indicates a need for $5M to “keep the lights on” Please provide a breakout of utilities expenses that supports this amount. 
28What is the per penny amount for real estate taxes and property taxes?
29The County is requesting approximately $150 million in new CIP funding for FY 2024. Would staff please provide a prioritized listing of these projects and the potential impact of their deferral to later years?  
30Clarify the Schools gap amount based on the proposal.
31What would be the annual/monthly impact to the average homeowner if the tax rate of $0.7377 was increased by 10 cents per $100 assessed value to $0.8377? 

Please provide a complied listing of the School Local Transfer amount for the past 5-10 years per the following categories: 

  • Amount included in the School Superintendent’s Recommended Budget 
  • Amount included in the School Board’s Approved Budget
  • Amount included in the County Administrator’s Recommended Budget 
  • Amount included in the County Board’s Approved Budget

33What portion of every dollar do we put in fund balance? Of that amount, how much is untouchable? What percent do we put towards the CIP? 

34What are the average assessed values for the localities listed on the “Real Estate Tax Rates per $100 of Assessed Value” chart?

35How much is available in Community Foundation funds? Cane we use it to reduce borrowing in the CIP?

36What does $1,000,000 in bonds cost in debt service?

37Please provide a listing of all the vehicles, including date of purchase, mileage, and repair estimates.  How much do we get back on surplused vehicles?  Where do the surplus funds go?

38How many visitors does the Museum get each year?  Compare that with how many visitors there were when the Museum was in the Merchant’s Square building.

39How much has the Sheriff’s Office received in donations? What has the Schools and Parks & Recreation used donated funds for in the past? Is there any accounting on how donated funds are spent?