More taxes could be on the way for Chesterfield County. The Board of Supervisors is trying to figure out ways to pay for improvements to aging school buildings, as part of a seven year plan.
A meals tax or increased real estate tax have both been put on the table as options for paying for the $304 million in improvements and upgrades.
County officials could put the upgrades off more than seven years, only making $200 million in upgrades. However, the county committed to providing equal services to all members of the county, and right now the schools are not equal in environment.
If supervisors do decide to fund all $304 million of those school projects for the next seven years, the money is going to have to come from somewhere. Jim Holland with the Dale district believes a meals tax would solve the problem.
He says he intends to motion for a referendum, meaning County residents would need to vote on whether they want to pay a meals tax.
"I think this is how we have to step up and make the bold decisions," said Holland. "I know that we'll make a difference in the lives of many children."
Also on the table, a possible increase in the real estate tax, roughly $20 per home per year. Daniel Gecker of the Midlothian District believes it's time to ask voters whether they want to pay more in taxes to support local schools. Gecker says it's at least worth discussing a possible real estate tax increase with voters.
"I think this board owes it to the community to advertise a higher rate and let that discussion begin," said Gecker.
On Wednesday, the Board of Supervisors will discuss whether to keep looking at a real estate tax increase as a possible funding option.
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