CHESTERFIELD (WRIC) - Could your property taxes be going up in Chesterfield? Supervisors have opened the door to the possibility.
Supervisors have taken the first step to the possibility of raising taxes by advertising a higher rate that citizens can still weigh in on. The county is trying to figure out how to pay for improving schools and emergency communication.
Back in November, Chesterfield voters said yes to improving schools and emergency communication but voted against a proposed meals tax to help pay for those improvements. Now the county has to try and come up with a way to fund those improvements. Advertising a higher real estate tax that could help give the county some of the money it needs.
Don Kappel, spokesman for the county, says the advertisement doesn't mean tax rates will raise but legally they had to advertise it to give supervisors the option of raising the real estate tax.
Currently the tax rate is 95 cents per $100 of assessed value. The advertised rate is 98 cents. If approved, it would give the county and extra $9.6 million dollars a year, though officials say it would still be one of the lowest rates in the state.
"Some of our schools are quite old and are in need of extensive renovations," Kappel says. "Among large localities in Virginia, Chesterfield County operates the lowest per capita cost overall and also the lowest student costs for the school systems of large localities."
Some residents say while they believe in the need of funding schools, they're not sure they want their property taxes raised.
"I'm all for funding the schools and building new schools in Chesterfield County, however I do wish that they would find another way to fund the schools," says resident Bethany Davis.
Residents can weigh in on the proposal at a public hearing March 26.
If supervisors do decide to raise the real estate tax, they cannot go above the advertised rate but they can decide not to raise it as high as 98 cents.
Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond