March 3, 2023 - Residents will have several opportunities to offer their views on next year's Hampton budget, which is currently being developed. City Manager Mary Bunting seeks input before her recommended budget is developed to ensure it includes the residents' top priorities.
Home values increased about 10% in 2022, and Bunting has pledged to recommend a cut in the tax rate for Fiscal Year 2024. Property taxes are the largest source of funding for city operations, as well as the city's money for school operations. Balancing the amount of a tax rate decrease with projected expenses will be the subject for input. Public Works is seeing increases in city waste water and stormwater services, which are funded by user fees.
Bunting will hold an in-person session on Saturday, March 11, at 9 a.m. at Hampton High School. Residents will learn about the budget components and proposals and be able to ask questions as well as be a part of a live poll. A Facebook Live on March 14 at 7 p.m. will also allow for questions and comments. Online polling will be available March 11-19.
The stormwater fee increase would fund enhanced maintenance of basins, ditches, and underground pipes. That proposal would increase the monthly fee for residents by $1 to $11.83 (from $10.83). Business fees are based on that amount but scaled to their square footage of buildings and pavement. Hampton's rate is currently the lowest of six urban cities in Hampton Roads.
The wastewater fee is proposed to increase by an average 73 cents per month for homeowners, making the bill $19.10 per month (from $18.37). This would cover the increase in costs for general sewer system maintenance. Again, Hampton's current user fees are the lowest among urban cities and lower than some of the surrounding counties.
City Council will discuss the budget options at their retreat work session March 8. It will start at 9 .m. at the Hampton Roads Convention Center. Because it is offsite, it will not be broadcast live but will be taped for later viewing.