Charlottesville city manager presents fiscal year 2021 budget

CharlottesvilleCharlottesville City Manager Tarron Richardson will present his proposed FY 2021 city budget to Charlottesville City Council at its meeting on Monday, March 2, which begins at 6:30 p.m.

The first public hearing on the budget will be at the March 16 City Council meeting.

Total general fund expenditures in the FY 2021 budget are $196,620,521 and balanced to general fund revenues of the same amount. This represents a 4.11 percent increase from FY 2020. The city manager is also recommending a FY 2021 Capital Projects Fund budget of $35,303,678.

City schools will receive a local contribution of $59,492,881, a $2.1 million increase, or 3.71 percent. City Schools will also receive $1.2 million in an unallocated fund that the schools can use for priority capital improvement initiatives of their choice, in addition to the over $1.9 million for general capital improvement dollars and HVAC replacement funds. Superintendent Rosa Atkins will provide additional information on the school funding request at the March 2 City Council meeting.

The city manager’s major themes in this year’s budget include:

  • Affordable housing
  • Race and equity
  • Investment in city employees
  • Strong support for city Schools
  • Preserving and enhancing service quality and efficiency, and
  • Aligning with our Strategic Plan and Council Priorities

Key facts about the city manager’s budget proposal:

  • The city manager implemented a zero-based budgeting model as a means to minimize departmental expenditure increases.
  • Employees receive a 2 percent cost of living adjustment and the living wage will remain at $15.00 per hour.
  • Per policy, the city is providing 40 percent of new revenues available to the Charlottesville City Schools. This represents an additional $2.1 million, 3.71 percent more than FY 2020.
  • Numerous new initiatives supported by City Council over the past year are now fully reflected in the City budget including: Police Civilian Review Board ($150,000); Home-to-Hope ($350,000); Food Equity Program ($155,000); a new Office of Equity and Inclusion ($197,000); and Unity Days ($81,500).
  • The Real Estate Tax rate is recommended by the city manager to remain at 95 cents per $100 of assessed value. City Council has advertised a rate of 97 cents which would provide an additional $1.6 million in revenue.
  • Under the revenue sharing agreement of May 24, 1982, the sum of $14,589,313 will be received from the County of Albemarle. Of that amount, $7,367,841 shall be transferred to the Capital Projects Fund and $400,000 shall be transferred to the Facilities Repair Fund.
  • The funding review process for all outside nonprofit human service focused agencies underwent significant changes for the FY 21 review cycle. That new process, now known as the Vibrant Community Fund process, was the result of a year-long review led by City Council members, community members, and staff. The overall pool of funds to be distributed to these types of agencies grew by approximately $200,000 in FY 21.

Budget calendar

  • March 2 Proposed City and Adopted School Budgets Presented to Council
  • March 5 Budget Work Session #1 – General Revenue & Expenditure Discussion
  • March 12 Budget Work Session #2 – Outside and Non Profit Agencies
  • March 16 First Budget and Tax Rate Public Hearings
  • March 24 Community Budget Forum
  • March 26 Budget Work Session #3 – Capital Improvement Program
  • April 6 Second Budget Public Hearing/Budget Approval First Reading/Tax Levy Approval First Reading
  • April 7 Budget Work Session #4 (If Necessary) – Budget Wrap Up Items
  • April 14 Budget and Tax Levy Approval Second Reading

Additional information on the FY 2021 Proposed Budget can be found at

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