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Recent budget actions before Fredericksburg City Council
As a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic, inflation and global supply chain issues the values of vehicles have increased dramatically. In fact, Fredericksburg’s Commissioner of the Revenue now reports that values have risen over 30% in many cases. This new information now means that without action significant new revenue is likely compared to the projected revenue included in the City Manager’s Recommended Budget as presented on March 8, 2022. This national trend has led Governor Youngkin to sign into law HB1239 on March 22, 2022, allowing localities to create a new and separate classification within tangible personal property for vehicles. This emergency legislation was passed by the Commonwealth to assist localities in reducing unprecedented burdens on tax payers who might otherwise experience much higher personal property tax bills, due to the increased value of vehicles.
In response to these issues, City Council is considering two new ordinances on April 5, 2022. The first ordinance would remove the annual vehicle license fee assessed to vehicles on the annual May billing cycle, which totals $20 for vehicles and $15 for motorcycles. The second ordinance would lower the tax rate for personal property on vehicles, as allowed by the new state law. Taken together, if approved, these two ordinances should generally offset the overall increase in vehicle values and result in more normal personal property tax bills.
Both of these ordinances, if adopted, would affect the Spring 2022 billing for city taxpayers, to aid citizens and businesses as quickly as possible, and will remain in effect for the Fall 2022 billing. Next year City Council and staff will review vehicle valuations to see whether the new rate needs to be amended. The vehicle license fee will more than likely not return.
A Special Called Meeting of City Council will be held on Tuesday, April 5, 2022 at 7:00p.m. at Walker-Grant Center, 210 Ferdinand Street. View the meeting agenda online here. The meeting will be live streamed and recorded for playback at www.regionalwebtv.com/fredcc. A separate annual joint budget work session that evening with Fredericksburg City Schools is being held at the same location beginning at 6:00p.m.
The public is also encouraged to learn about and participate in the budget process now through May of this year. Of special importance, you are invited to attend the Budget Public Hearing on April 19, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers, City Hall, 715 Princess Anne Street, an important part of the budget process. Please contact our Council Clerk, Tonya Lacey, with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (540) 372-1010.
Find all of the budget documents and stay up to date with the next steps of Fredericksburg’s budget process by visiting the City website at fredericksburgva.gov/budget. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about the budget by calling the City Manager's Office at (540) 372-1010 or emailing email@example.com.