On April 9, Chesterfield County supervisors will decide whether citizens will be paying more in property taxes, or whether there will be cuts to services.
CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) -
This week, Chesterfield County leaders will decide whether the county should raise property taxes or make cuts to some services.
Seventy-five percent of the proposed Chesterfield County budget would go toward public schools and public safety: The County Administrator is proposing to hire 100 new teachers, in an effort to reduce class size and meet growing demand.
The proposal also calls for increasing public safety staffing, such as police officers and sheriffs. But these changes would come with a price: raising the real estate tax three cents. County supervisors are grappling with the decision.
Monday, a group representing parents, educators and public safety pushed for the real estate tax to be raised.
“Out of a 132 school systems in Virginia, Chesterfield ranks 15th from the bottom in class size, and 10th from the bottom in per pupil spending,” said Donald Wilms of the Chesterfield Education Association.
Amy Harbert of the Chesterfield Council of PTAs adds, “If we do not invest now, Chesterfield will not remain a desirable community.”
But critics like the Chester Patriots, the Chesterfield Taxpayer Alliance and the Chesterfield Tea Party are fighting those efforts.
“They always use the teachers, the school children, public safety as the reason we need to raise taxes,” said Floyd Bayne, a Chesterfield substitute teacher and a member of the Chesterfield Tea Party.
Bayne continued, “I'm just tired of the government at all levels using us as some sort of bottomless pit of money they could go to whenever they feel like they need it.”
According to Bayne, a number of cuts can be made in the county, including some positions and salaries.
“Some of these positions that I just mentioned that we're paying for can be done away with, abolished, we don't need them. Why do we need three doctors and a psychiatrist on Chesterfield County payroll?”
For now, supervisors, like residents, remain split on the idea. A decision is expected to be reached at the next budget meeting, slated for April 9. ABC 8News will continue to monitor this developing situation, stay with us for updates.