Mayor Stoney to host first town hall meeting on proposed budget

RICHMOND, Va. – The public will have an opportunity Tuesday to comment on Mayor Levar Stoney’s proposed budget which calls for a real estate tax increase.

Stoney will host a town hall meeting to discuss his proposed budget for the 2020 Fiscal Year. The meeting will be held at Woodville Elementary School at 6:30 p.m.

Earlier this month, Stoney proposed raising the city’s real estate tax by nine cents to $1.29 per $100 of assessed value in order to fund Richmond Public Schools and repairs and maintenance for the city’s roads and sidewalks.

The mayor says his plan includes $18.5 million to fully fund the Richmond Public Schools strategic plan and $16.2 million to pay for street and sidewalk repair.

Stoney also proposed a 50-cent per pack tax on cigarettes which would also pay for school and road improvements.

While introducing the proposed budget and tax increases, Stoney said the tax increases were needed because the cost of doing city business is going up. He cited rising health insurance costs for city workers, the rising cost of caring for inmates in Richmond jail, and the rising costs Public Works contracts.

So far, the plan has only been supported by Councilmember Michael Jones (9th District). In fact, five of the nine councilmembers are either opposed to the proposed increases or consider them too steep.

Stoney says the tax increase is “necessary” and that the city cannot fund schools with “fairy dust and GoFundMes,” when asked about the opposition earlier this month.

Tuesday’s town hall meeting is the first of four public input meetings to discuss Stoney’s proposed budget. Here are the remaining three town hall meetings:

Thursday, March 21

  • 7 – 8:30 p.m.
  • Southside
  • Southside Community Center
  • 6335 Old Warwick Rd.

Wednesday, March 27

  • 6:30 – 8 p.m.
  • West End
  • Thomas Jefferson High School
  • 4100 W. Grace St.

Tuesday, April 2

  • 6:30 – 8 p.m.
  • Northside
  • Northside Family YMCA
  • 7207 Old Brook Rd.
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