Chesterfield meals tax failure gives some ‘voters remorse’

Posted at 6:16 PM, Mar 11, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-11 18:32:50-04

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WTVR) -- It is budget season in the Commonwealth as localities reveal how they plan on spending your tax dollars.

But in Chesterfield, county leaders have proposed doing something they haven't done in over 25 years: raise property taxes.

Under the proposal revealed Monday, property taxes would increase 4.6 cents for every $100 of assessed value. That makes a $200,000 home about $20  more expensive come tax time.  In addition, vehicle registration would increase $10.

"Every penny counts and I think everyone is trying to maintain every penny," Sherri Weaver Russell,  a Chesterfield resident concerned with increases, said.

For some the proposal is making them have "voter remorse" over the meals tax that voters rejected last November.

Brandy Drumgole, who voted against the meals tax, is now realizing she might have made a mistake since she eats out rarely and estimates a meals tax would have only cost her about $20 or so dollars a year.

But under this proposal , once she is married between new cars and new homes, she could face a $50 tax increase.

"Maybe we should of voted a little differently," Drumgole said.

Budget Director Allan Carmody says this year's budget is about keeping Chesterfield competitive.

"We really want to make sure we keep Chesterfield on a steady course," Carmody said.

Carmody emphasized that the majority of the new revenue will go directly to improving schools as well as cleaning up polluted water.

One hundred new teachers are scheduled to be hired under budget proposals in Chesterfield as are four new patrol officers and two new resource officers for John Tyler Community College.