Richmond City Council passes adjusted FY2021 budget

Richmond City Council passes adjusted FY2021 budget
Mayor Levar Stoney (Source: NBC12)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond City Council passed Mayor Levar Stoney’s adjusted FY2021 budget, which was changed due to a projected decrease in revenue due to COVID-19.

The original budget Stoney proposed in early March was based on a $782.6 million general fund revenue projection. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is now estimated to decrease by $38.5 million and now stands at an estimated $744.1 million.

The updated budget still aligns with Stoney’s priorities such as “supporting schools, fixing roads and sidewalks and making the city a more equitable, safe place to raise a family.”

“The revised FY21 budget will still allocate more to RPS than the city did in FY20, following council-approved guidance to dedicate a certain percentage of real estate tax revenue to schools. A total of $181M will now go to RPS, compared to roughly $175M in FY20,” a release said.

Stoney release the following statement on the budget passing:

“This budget is not the budget we first proposed, nor is it the budget we wanted, but it’s the budget we have to live with in light of these most difficult and challenging times. Amid the uncertainty of this pandemic, we must be prepared to make adjustments as we go, and we fully expect to do so in the coming months.

“To that end, I’d like to express my sincere appreciation to the members of City Council and their staff for all their hard work, cooperation and collaboration with my team, as well as for their commitment, going forward, to meeting the needs of our residents and advance the city’s priorities in a manner that is fiscally prudent and equitable.”

Here are some of the following changes made to the budget proposal.

The following have been eliminated:

  • 2 percent salary increase for employees; 
  • Step increases for public safety personnel and base salary increases for public safety recruits;
  • Nearly $9.4M in currently funded full-time and part-time employee positions. Which includes the elimination of 12 proposed new positions throughout the administration, including in Citizen Service and Response, Parks and Recreation, Human Services, and the City Attorney’s office, among others;
  • Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities workforce development program for returning citizens;
  • Doula program run through the Richmond City Health District; 
  • New funding for the History and Culture Commission operating budget; and
  • Several non-departmental allocations to nonprofits that did not receive funds in FY20. 

The following were brought to FY20 funding levels:

  • The Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which was slated to receive $3.5M but will now receive $2.9M;
  • The Eviction Diversion Program, which was slated for a $201k increase but will now receive $485k; and
  • Many non-departmental allocations to nonprofits that received funds in FY20. 

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