The Roanoke City Council unanimously approved the budget for the upcoming fiscal year Monday, complete with monthly parking and building inspections fee increases, pay raises for city employees and a boost to school funding.
The council approved plans as proposed at $355.4 million. It includes a school funding increase of $8.9 million and roughly $9.7 million for city employee pay raises that will go into effect July 1.
It also approved building and monthly parking fee increases proposed in March.
For projects at or under $1,000, permit costs will stay about the same — $50, as opposed to the current $45 price. The fee structure will change for more expensive projects, though, to keep the fees more proportional to the project cost. Each additional $1,000 in project cost will add a little under $7 to the cost of the permit.
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Parking fee increases approved Monday will raise the general monthly parking rate by $5, the residential rate by $10 and the student rate by $2.50 at most city-operated parking garages and lots. The parking fee increases should help offset the cost of added security, according to the budget.
While the council has approved the city budget, delays at the state level mean there are still some unknowns. State funding is a significant part of the city school budget and is also likely to impact social services funding and compensation for the city treasurer, clerk of court, commissioner of revenue, sheriff and commonwealth’s attorney.
The Virginia legislature is not likely to pass a revised second year biennial budget until July, after the start of the new fiscal year.
Meanwhile, the city’s real estate property tax rate will stay at its current $1.22 per $100 of assessed value. City taxes support roughly 70% of its budget, with real estate property tax revenue generating the largest amount of revenue.
Because the total assessed value of property in the city went up 9.08%, the unchanged tax rate will effectively amount to an average tax increase of 8.33% for property owners.
The city expects to net an additional $10 million with that increase. Roughly 90% of city property owners saw value changes, which will affect their 2023-24 tax bills, the first payment for which is due Oct. 5. The city should mail those bills near the end of August.
The council also voted Monday to endorse the recommended capital improvement program for fiscal years 2024-2028, at a total of $303.6 million. The largest component of that is planned for school facility maintenance and improvements. A public hearing on the debt issuance related to the CIP is scheduled for 7 p.m. June 20 in council chambers at the Noel C. Taylor Municipal Building.