CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – Chesterfield residents could pay additional property and vehicle taxes as the county seeks to bring in more revenue to ease a budget deficit.
"You're either going to pay a nickel now or a quarter later," said Beth Hooper, who has three children in Chesterfield County schools.
Parents like Hooper believe school funding should be a top priority. But not everyone agrees.
"If you're trying to grow Chesterfield County and get more people to move into the county, you know schools are super important to the parents that are going to be relocating here,” resident Sue Anderson said.
One possible option to ease the budget woes comes from the Chesterfield Education Association. That group says adding 3 cents to the property tax rate, which is currently at 95 cents per $100, could generate about $9 million for schools.
Chesterfield Education Association President Donald Wilms said that would be just enough to get the school system through another year.
Wilms wants that possible extra money to go to hiring additional teachers.
To do the right thing by the children, you've got to have class sizes that are small enough that a teacher can get to every single student," Wilms said.
Wilms broke down how much a family that lives in a $200,000 home would pay. It would equate to about $60 a year or $5 a month.
Road are another hot topic since the county could double their money by meeting qualifications for a state matching grant.To do so, the county would need to add $10 to vehicle registration fees.
"That would generate $3.5 million of local revenue. Therefore, resulting in $7 million in a combined state and locally funded transportation initiative,” Allan Carmody, Chesterfield’s Director of Budget and Management, said.
The board of supervisors are still working on their five year capital improvement plan. They will ultimately decide whether to increase the property tax rate and vehicle registration fees.