Budget and Management
March 27, 2023
Members of Chesterfield’s Citizens’ Budget Advisory Committee (CBAC) have endorsed the county administrator’s proposed fiscal year 2024 budget, which includes continued increases in funding for workforce compensation, education, public safety, and infrastructure while also providing significant tax relief across the county.
In a March 20 letter to the Board of Supervisors, the committee commended the board for its “steady leadership” against a “dynamic, rapidly evolving economic backdrop” as core services were continually delivered and substantial investments were honored over the past year. The committee also recognized the board for its “ongoing tax relief efforts to provide the citizenry with financial support through a period of generationally-high inflation.
“The committee hopes these areas of emphasis continue to attract public and private capital and a diversified income tax base,” reads the CBAC letter, signed by members Brian Bondurant, Chris Eudailey, Chip Hughey, Gene Johnson, and Sheila Walters. “CBAC believes the proposed FY2024 budget successfully balances the funding for a wide array of county services for residents.
After a series of community meetings, the Board of Supervisors held public hearings on the FY2024 budget and capital improvement program, and calendar year 2023 local tax rates, at its March 22 meeting. A formal vote on the measures is expected on April 5.
CBAC works with county staff during development of the budget and advises the board on the allocation of resources in alignment with Chesterfield’s strategic objectives. The committee considers the county’s existing strategic plan, financial policies and budget process; reviews historical expenditure, staffing and performance data; and evaluates projected revenue and expenditure activity relative to budgeted amounts.
"CBAC has worked tirelessly with staff during the development of this budget in order to best advise the board of resource allocations in accordance with the county’s strategic plan,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Kevin Carroll (Matoaca District).
“While education remains Chesterfield’s top priority, as demonstrated by the $383.4 million proposed to schools, the board must balance the needs of all citizens,” he added. “Additionally, this proposed budget seeks to assist in our efforts to recruit and retain employees in an extremely competitive job market, by completing the final phase of the pay plan for non-public safety employees on the county government side and allocating $6.5 million to increasing starting pay for public safety employees."
In its letter, CBAC recognized the overwhelming support for last fall’s bond referendum and commended the Board of Supervisors for once again providing comprehensive tax relief as part of the FY2024 budget. The committee also expressed strong support for workforce compensation.
Elsewhere, the CBAC expressed support for the county’s continued “prioritization of education,” as demonstrated by several actions taken during the current and prior fiscal years with a proposed $20 million increase in local funding for Chesterfield County Public Schools in the FY2024 budget.
“Allocating 50.4 percent of the annual budget to CCPS aligns with the county’s strong commitment to protecting the county’s quality of education, addressing the facilities’ major maintenance needs, and achieving appropriate staffing levels to address the changing educational needs,” the letter reads.
The committee said it was “extremely pleased” after years of advocacy to see the county propose creating 36 new firefighter positions and achieving the staff goals. That and the proposed enhancements to the Public Safety Pay Plan also drew high praise.
It also endorsed the proposed budget’s commitment to “ongoing investment” in the infrastructure system’s physical assets, finances, and meeting critical staffing needs. The budget includes historic local funding for infrastructure as part of Phase I of the Powhite Parkway extension project.
“CBAC’s guidance will undoubtedly assist the board in evaluating what expenditures move departments closer toward their goals and developing priority recommendations,” Carroll said.