City Council Adopts Revised FY2022-23 Budget
The City of Virginia Beach has been able to maintain a strong budget position despite the challenges of the pandemic. City leadership has been thoroughly engaged through Council workshops, departmental briefings, and public hearings over the last several weeks to help inform the FY 2022-23 budget. The adopted budget implements major investments in the City workforce, public safety, and capital improvement projects, among other focus areas.
In the FY 2022-23 budget, there are no recommended increases to the solid waste fee, water service charges, sewer service charges, or stormwater charges. With the exception of a few fee increases within the Department of Planning and Community Development, the FY 2022-23 Budget and CIP are supported through natural growth in citywide revenues. Key elements are highlighted below, and full details may be found at VBgov.com/budget.
Real Estate and Personal Property Taxes
- There will be no change in the real estate tax rate. The City will absorb the full cost of the $567.5 million Flood Protection Program bond referendum approved by over 72% of voters in November 2021, with no change in the $0.99 tax rate. Of the total $0.99 tax rate, 4.1¢ will remain dedicated to the Flood Protection Program within a stand-alone fund acting as a "lockbox," with the remaining 94.9¢ supporting other base operations and services.
- The real estate surcharge for the Sandbridge Special Service District has been reduced from 4¢ to 2¢ per $100 of assessed value.
- 25% reduction in Personal Property Taxes for vehicles
- Personal Property Tax relief for elderly residents (65+), and anyone found to be permanently and totally disabled, as well as for new businesses that qualify for the Business License Incentive Program will continue to be taxed at one-millionth of one cent $.000001 per $100 assessed valuation.
Independent Citizen Review Panel
- Includes $110,000 to support the Independent Citizen Review Panel, to act as a law-enforcement civilian oversight body, through the use of contractual services
- Implementation of the Chorus Intelligence Suite digital intelligence and crime analysis solution to improve public safety monitoring, analyzing, and documenting capabilities for the Police Department
- Funding for Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD), Mobile CAD, Fire Records Management, Police Records Management, and all system integrations
- Funding for eTicketing to replace the current manual ticket process
- $2.8 million for an Emergency Communications & Citizen Services (ECCS) backup operations site at the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) headquarters on Virginia Beach Boulevard to ensure redundancy
- Funding for the design of the Correction Center Renewal and Replacement
- Increase of 23 full-time employees within EMS to maintain service delivery and response times
Stormwater & Infrastructure
- $18.7 million for a Regional Stormwater Management Facility at 17th Street in the Resort Area funded through the Tourism Investment Program (TIP) Fund
- Continue enhanced maintenance efforts related to Lake Management and Neighborhood Rehabilitation projects through the use of $44.8 million in Federal Funding
- $6 million for the Centerville Turnpike Phase III project to increase capacity and improve safety for vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians through the Centerville Turnpike corridor
- Secured $16.6 million in State revenue which will be allocated for the following projects: Nimmo Parkway VII-B, Pungo Ferry Landing Park Improvements, and Owl Creek Boat Ramps
- Nearly $5 million in programmed funding for the replacement of the Rudee Inlet Weir
Economic and Tourism Initiatives
- A robust financing plan through the TIP Fund to enhance Virginia Beach's position as a tourist destination that includes capital maintenance repairs along Atlantic Avenue, Sports Center improvements, increased parking capacity, site acquisition in the Resort Area, and investment in sports infrastructure within the City
- The extension of the Tourism Investment Program (TIP) Fund dedications to ensure it has adequate capacity to support the tourism and economic development initiatives within the Resort Area
- $300,000 for enhanced entertainment, peak season ambassadors, and block-by-block security for the Town Center grounds and plaza
- To support and encourage the expansion of special events within the city, the Special Event Fees will be eliminated. The City will continue to provide required safety standards and support services at no charge.
Customer Service & Educational Opportunities
- Funding for the expansion of Human Services' Pembroke Six facility at 4752 Virginia Beach Blvd. to create a central location where clients are able to receive a host of services within a single building, as opposed to multiple sites throughout the City
- $4.6 million to further implement the City's Enterprise Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System project to include Chatbot, payment portal, and integration with other City Systems
- $40,000 for the Office of Performance and Accountability (OPA) to update and implement a more robust Citizen Satisfaction Survey that includes important analysis as well as geographical and population benchmarking
- $450,000 to continue the partnership and workforce development programs between the City and Virginia Wesleyan University to offer 70 non-credit continuing education courses on campus, at The HIVE, or online at no cost to Virginia Beach residents
Staffing & Compensation
Funding for staffing, recruitment, and retention initiatives, including:
- $32.8 million compensation reserve
- Implementing a hybrid pay plan system which includes setting a citywide $15 per hour minimum wage and a step pay plan for public safety and a portion of the general workforce based on years of service
- An internship program to help create a pipeline for new talent
- A full-time Human Resource Analyst position in the Staffing and Compensation Division dedicated to employee recruitment efforts
- Virginia Beach Police Department, in conjunction with Emergency Communications & Citizen Services (ECCS), will use vacancy savings to implement a mental health program for Public Safety staff
Details about the funding sources and appropriation adjustments made during the reconciliation process are available at vbgov.com/budget.