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Spotsy issues guidelines for budget public hearing next week

From Spotsylvania County:

 Question:  What causes the County to hold a public hearing each year on the budget, tax rate, and CIP?  Answer:  State Code requires the County to hold a budget public hearing at least seven days prior to adoption of the budget each year.   Additionally, if the advertised tax rate exceeds the equalized tax rate in reassessment years, a public hearing is required.

Question:  Why is the County moving ahead with the public hearing on March 31, 2020 given the coronavirus emergencies declared by the   Federal, State, and local governments?   Answer:  The Governor’s Executive Order #53 is explicit in that it does not limit (or provide waiver for) “the operation of government.”  On  an annual basis, the County must adhere to budget and tax‐related deadlines required by the State Code.  In reassessment years, those  deadlines become tighter because a longer advertisement period is required ahead of the public hearing.  The March 31, 2020 public  hearing date was originally set to ensure the County would meet the State Code requirements.  Rescheduling of the hearing would require  the longer advertisement period to restart and would set the whole budget process back to the point that the County would not be able to  accomplish the remaining steps in the budget and tax‐related processes to meet the State Code requirements.

Question:  What revisions are planned at the public hearing this year because of the declared health emergency?  Answer:  Citizens are strongly encouraged to submit written comments to be read into the public record by County staff in front of the  Board of Supervisors at the televised hearing rather than attending in person.  Citizens choosing to attend in person will be required to  maintain recommended social distancing at all times and will be guided by County staff in accomplishing this.

The Budget Public Hearing is for the purpose of allowing public to make comment on any matter pertaining to the FY 2021 Budget, the 2020 tax rates, and the draft FY 2021 – FY 2025 Capital Improvement Plan.

For your safety and the safety of the community at large during this on-going coronavirus emergency, citizens wishing to comment are HIGHLY ENCOURAGED to submit written comments to be read into the public record by County staff in front of the Board at the televised hearing rather than attending in person.

 Those desiring to submit written comments to be read publically to the Board may do so immediately by emailing comments to Aimee Mann ([email protected]), or by placing written comments in the Treasurer’s Office drop box outside the Holbert Building at 9104 Courthouse Road, Spotsylvania, VA 22553. Comments submitted via the Treasurer’s Office drop box should be in a sealed envelope which is clearly marked “Budget Public Hearing.”

 Additionally, comments may be mailed to the attention of Aimee Mann at PO Box 99, Spotsylvania, VA 22553. Mailed comments must be received by close of business on Monday, March 30 in order for them to be read into the public record at the hearing.

 Submissions of written comments must include the citizen’s name and voting district. Please construct your written comments in such manner that they are limited to three (3) minutes when read at a typical oral reading pace. For comments provided in representation of a group, the time limit is five (5) minutes.

 Citizens choosing to attend in person will be required to maintain recommended social distancing at all times and will be guided by County staff in accomplishing this.

If you or a member of your family is sick, in the interest of public health, you are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED not to attend in person, but rather submit your comments in writing to be read aloud and heard by the Board during the public hearing.

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