RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney has outlined a proposal to set aside $17.1 million in excess tax revenue for agencies and programs in the city, including $5 million to fund pay changes for first responders and $3.1 million for inclement weather shelters.
Stoney’s administration put forward a budget amendment Monday detailing how it would like to spend $17.1 million of the more than $21 million in additional real estate tax revenue from the adopted budget for the 2022-2023 fiscal year.
“The real estate market in the City of Richmond has continued to grow at a robust pace,” the administration wrote to the Richmond City Council on Dec. 1. “The growth of the real estate market has caused the taxable real property revenue to exceed the budgeted amount.”
The mayor seeks to earmark $2,612,000 for the Richmond Police Department, $1,879,000 for the Richmond Fire Department and $559,000 for the Department of Emergency Communications for pay adjustments that the city says were not accounted for in the pay raises approved last May.
Stoney is proposing appropriating $1,750,000 to the Department of Economic Development for “contractual increases” involving Richmond’s Diamond District and City Center projects. The budget amendment also includes $1.1 million for traffic calming projects.
In a release Tuesday, Stoney’s administration highlighted how the surplus would help bolster the city’s shelters for those experiencing homelessness and during inclement weather.
Richmond opened temporary shelters in November, but it remains unclear when the four seasonal shelters it planned to have ready by the start of last month will open.
Under Stoney’s proposal, $3.1 million would go to the Department of Housing and Community Development to pay for improvements, maintenance and operational costs of providing the four shelters.
City documents show that $1.1 million would be allocated to the United Nations Church International of VA, Inc., $837,000 to RVA Sisters Keeper, $650,000 to Fifth Street Baptist Church and $313,388 to the nonprofit group Commonwealth Catholic Charities.
The budget amendment also calls for providing $1 million to the Greater Richmond Continuum of Care — the umbrella organization of homeless service providers in the region — “to provide rehousing assistance, case management, and support for existing shelter providers,” according to the administration’s release.
The proposal would set aside $1 million to the nonprofit HumanKind “to provide flexible, emergency relief for families in crisis” and $500,000 to NextUP RVA, a free program for Richmond Public Schools middle school students, to extend development programs to “help prevent youth violence into the summer.”
“Taking care of our most vulnerable populations such as our homeless, families in crisis, and our youth — is not only a necessary investment in their welfare, but it’s the right thing to do,” Stoney said in a statement. “This funding will allow us to provide critical assistance in the coming months, and I appreciate Council’s support of our residents.”
Richmond’s City Council will vote on Stoney’s proposal during its Dec. 12 meeting, which is slated to be the last of 2022. Council members reached for comment Tuesday did not immediately respond to 8News.