Real estate values in Halifax County have increased by 4.4%.
Therefore, county supervisors are proposing to keep the tax rate of 50 cents per $100 of assessed value rather than lowering the rate to 48 cents, which would maintain the current tax assessment.
The public will get a chance to offer comment on that proposal during a reassessment public hearing set for 6:30 p.m. Monday in the public meeting room at the Mary Bethune Office Complex in Halifax when Halifax County Board of Supervisors meet.
Preliminary results of the reassessment conducted by the Halifax County Commissioner of Revenue office say 2021 Halifax County real estate was worth $2,731,624,823.
Virginia code requires that any time that tax collections increase by 1% or more due to reassessment of real estate in a locality, a public hearing must be held.
Based on the proposed real property tax rate and changes in the county’s revenues, the total budget of Halifax County will exceed last year’s by 1.11%
Supervisors will also meet Monday at 3:30 p.m. in the same public meeting room for a budget work session. This is the second time this year the entire board has met to discuss the upcoming budget.
The board reviewed budget requests in February that resulted in a $504,446 deficit leaving supervisors with decisions to make about requests.
When looking at the increased budget, county finance director Stephanie Jackson told supervisors in February that some increases were due to an increase across the board in required contributions to the Virginia Retirement System, an increase in wages due to the minimum wage increase and the continuing rise in gas prices.
Included in the requests were $365,000 to cover a 5% raise for full-time county employees, $67,260 to cover an additional $3K for all full-time dispatchers and $200,000 to complete a compensation study.
County staff is requesting $20,000 to replace a vehicle.
The Halifax County Sheriff’s Office is requesting $40,000 in salary and wages, including overtime, which is up from the $35,000 in the current budget.
Sheriff Fred S. Clark also is requesting an additional $4,500 per full time deputy, which includes benefits and totals $217,710 for the 41 deputies.
This is just some of the requests that were made to the board.
The required local effort that supervisors must give to the school system is $15,712,651, which is an increase of $1,469,237 from the year before.
Jackson told supervisors in February when they met again she would have a balanced budget for them to review. Supervisor’s finance committee also reviewed the budget and budget requests on Feb. 23.
A public hearing on for the budget and tax rates is scheduled for Monday, March 21 at 6 p.m.
The public also will get a chance to offer comment on the county’s proposed issuance of general obligation bonds for renovation of Halifax County High School and elementary schools at a public hearing on Monday.
Supervisors are considering borrowing $141,750,000 with the objective to provide $135,000,000 plus an amount needed to finance closing costs to finance design and construction or rehabilitation of Halifax County High School and multiple elementary schools.
The Virginia Public School Authority has offered to purchase the Local School Bond with the local school bonds in the spring.
The interest rate is expected to be 0.05%.
“The principal installments of the bond coming due or before July 15, 2032 and the definitive bonds for which this bond may be exchanged that mature on or before July 15, 2032, are not subject to prepayment or redemption prior to their stated maturities,” as stated on a general obligation school bond document.
It further states, “The principal installments of this bond coming due on or after July 15, 2033, and the definitive bonds for which this bond may be exchanged that mature on or after July 15, 2033 are subject to prepayment or redemption at the option of the county prior to the stated maturities in whole or in part, or any date on or after July 15, 2032…”
Supervisors also are set to consider a rezoning request Monday that received the green light to proceed from the Halifax County Planning Commission last month.
The commission recommended supervisors approve a rezoning request from Mary L. Blakeslee and others who had submitted a rezoning application to rezone 14 parcels in the Shepherds Gate community from M-1, industrial to R-1, residential to help with the sale of the land.
February’s planning commission meeting was the second time the commission had reviewed the application. The first time they directed planning and zoning administrator to find out more information regarding the entrance to the property and surrounding roads and easements.
The commission’s decision also followed a joint public hearing with supervisors in which two individuals, Ricky Nelson and Les Cook, voiced opposition. They have concerns about losing 50 feet of their property due to a setback requirement for property zoned M-1 that abuts a R-1 property.
Supervisors also are set to complete the following when they meet Monday:
• Consider a resolution honoring Howard Claiborne “H.C.” Phillips;
• Consider a resolution recognizing National Vietnam War Veterans Day;
• Receive citizen comments;
• Receive a presentation from Dr. Betty Adams, executive director of the Southern Virginia Higher Ed Center;
• Receive an update from Halifax County Animal Control Chief Warden Catherine Martinette on a February animal seizure;
• Receive reports from the airport advisory committee, policy and personnel committee and the ordinance committee; and
• Consider adoption of the Halifax County Emergency Operations Plan.