RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond’s Mayor Levar Stoney is unveiling his top budget priorities and took his $782.6 million operating plan to Richmond City Council Friday afternoon.
The proposed operating budget is about 5% increase over last year’s adopted budget. Stoney also wants to add $85 million to the city’s capital improvement plan.
“I think we can all agree that we have more work to do to grow our economy and to expand our tax base. Nevertheless, this budget keeps Richmond moving forward toward the city we want to be. We’re inclusive, equitable and more competitive,” said Stoney.
Inside City Hall, the mayor presented his budget to city councilors and walked them through his thinking. Highlighted priorities include spending $32 million to pave city roads. Stoney also wants to bump up the cash flow into the city’s eviction diversion program by more than 40%. Police officers, firefighters and city employees are slated to get a pay increase. If approved, Richmond Public Schools could also see a boost in funding by $16 million.
With any budget, you need to have the money to cover it. The city is not proposing any real estate tax increases. But the mayor says utility bills would go up under his plan. On average, that would cost city residents an extra $5.56 per month.
"We have to look at that. With all the economic development going on in the city, all the apartments going up, everything, why? Why do we have to increase anything. We shouldn't have to do that," said city councilor Reva Trammell.
City councilors will work on the plan over the next two months in a series of work sessions. Council will hold a public hearing on the budget on May 11, 2020.
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