A nearly five hour long Colonial Beach Town Council budget work session on April 15 led to the discussion of a possible 25-cent real estate tax increase.
Council members went over the town’s budget, line by line, in order to work toward the final budget. In January, council passed a resolution to have the budget in hand by May 8.
The council has not set this number in stone, but must advertise the highest amount possible for public hearing purposes. They can later lower the number, should funds be found, but cannot increase the rate over the proposed amount.
Earlier discussions had mentioned a 4-cent raise due to the bond the town is pursuing for not only the elementary school move, the high school maintenance needs, but also replacement of town equipment such as a garbage truck and police vehicles. Colonial Beach Public Schools are also asking for a larger amount of local funding next year due to a decrease in federal and state funding.
School Finance Director J.D. Martin was present at the meeting and told the gathered council members that if they were to reduce the amount requested it would cost teaching positions. The school system employs approximately 120 employees, which includes teachers, paraprofessionals, maintenance and cafeteria staff as well as administration.