How Henrico’s budget could put money back in residents’ pockets

Henrico County announced the plan to offer up more than $26 million in tax relief.
Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 4:20 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Henrico County rolled out new details regarding its 2023-24 proposed annual budget Tuesday.

County leaders shared budget information with hundreds of employees at the Department of Public Utilities Operations Center.

This comes two weeks after county leaders announced plans to include its second real estate tax credit for the second consecutive year in a row. The credit will help homeowners face rising property values.

Henrico County officials announced on Tuesday the plan to offer up more than $26 million in tax relief.

Henrico’s personal property tax rate for qualifying vehicles would be reduced permanently to $3.40 per $100 assessed value. That’s a 10-cent drop from the current $3.50.

The reduction would save 350,000 account holders a total of $3.6 million in the upcoming year.

Henrico County Budget Supervisor Dan Hayes says while vehicle values have fallen from last year’s peak, they remain higher than they were several years ago.

“It’s really exciting to be able to provide all that we do and still be able to reduce taxes for our residents because we do realize how challenging it is with the economic circumstances right now,” Hayes said.

The proposed budget could provide just $26.3 million of relief through personal property tax rate cut, the real estate tax credit, and an expansion of the real estate advantage program for residents who are at least 65 years old or disabled.

Between the proposed budget and the current one, the county could be providing more than $76 million in tax relief.

County leaders also announced a salary increase for their workers.

County and Henrico School employees could get the biggest pay bump the county has seen in the last 33 years.

County leaders are proposing a pay increase of 8.2% for workers like county employees, police officers, firefighters, and teachers.

The purpose of the pay raise is to strengthen recruitment and retention efforts.

“I think it’s important because I think our current employees truly need to feel valued and respected, and I think with our changing economy, we know things are harder,” Henrico County Public Schools’ Chief Learning Officer Lesley Hughes said.

In addition, the proposed budget would increase all general government and school salaries to $15 an hour.

“The focus of this proposed budget is you. You, our amazing employees,” Henrico County Deputy Manager Brandon Hinton said.

The budget proposes a general fund of $1.15 billion, an increase of $91.2 million, or 8.6%, over the current year.

More than 78% of the budget would go towards investing in public safety and education.

Other proposals include $316.8 million in capital spending, $30 million for road and pedestrian improvements, $1.3 million to build a Henrico visitor center at Four Mile Creek, and more.

Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas is scheduled to present the proposed budget to the Board of Supervisors on March 14.

A public hearing will be held Tuesday, April 11 at 6 p.m. at 4301 E. Parham Road.

The budget is scheduled for adoption Tuesday, April 25 and would take effect July 1.

At the end of Tuesday’s announcement, Henrico leaders recognized Public Works employees Ronald Jackson and Charlie Robinson for serving 50 years with the county.