Explore the Budget
On Wednesday, March 11, 2020, the County Administrator presented the proposed FY21 Budget to the Board of Supervisors. The following day, news began to circulate about COVID-19 cases in Virginia and on Friday, March 13, 2020, the County issued a notice to stop discretionary spending and County offices closed the following Monday. Less than 30 days after the effects of the pandemic began in Chesterfield, County staff had completely reworked the FY21 budget proposal and the FY21-25 Capital Improvement Program (CIP), resulting in a nearly $52 million decrease from the originally proposed budget. The revised FY21 Budget was reviewed and approved by the Board of Supervisors on April 22, 2020, pending additional action once the state budget was finalized. Further cuts were then approved on May 27, 2020 after the state numbers materialized.
Understanding how your tax dollar is invested
General Fund, Total Expenditures $721.8 million
Snapshot of the Budget Process
Planning and Preparation
During the summer months, planning efforts begin to prepare for the next budget cycle. Staff is comparing the fiscal year that just ended to the one that is just beginning to identify structural issues that should be addressed in the next cycle. The first part of the budget that begins to take shape during this late summer time frame is the Capital Improvement Program (CIP). Staff is reviewing and evaluating projects for the capital program - to include community facilities, infrastructure projects, land acquisition, major studies, and equipment purchases. Staff also begin to explore project financing capacity and assess how projects connect with community priorities and goals within the County's Strategic Plan and Comprehensive Plan.
Community Engagement and Development
Through the Blueprint Chesterfield initiative, the County engages with the community to learn what is most important to Chesterfield residents and businesses and share information about how to stay connected throughout the budget development process. Fall 2019 saw various planned events around the County, offering the opportunity to engage with citizens through a new avenue. During those events, budget staff interacted with about 200 people, providing information about how to engage in the budget process, where to find information online, and learn more about community priorities. Consistently, the community confirms agreement with established priorities focusing on education, public safety, transportation, and taking care of existing assets. The community also recognizes the need to address our shifting demographics, alternative transportation options, and revitalizing our older communities.
Revenues, Presentations, and Feedback
Early in the calendar year, real estate property assessments are finalized and the revenue outlook is evaluated. The Board of Supervisors decides what tax rates to advertise and holds a work session to review the projected revenues for the upcoming year. Also, during this time, the School Board approves the school division's operating and capital budgets. The County Administrator presents the proposed budget during a work session with the Board of Supervisors followed by a round of community meetings to review and discuss the plan. In late March, the Board of Supervisors holds public hearings related to the budget. For 2020, in-person community meetings transitioned to Facebook Live events, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Citizens were given the opportunity to offer feedback and ask questions via an online form as well as during the live events. As circumstances continued to unfold, the Board hosted a second series of Facebook Live community events to review the revised budget.
Budget Adoption, Fiscal Year-End
Per County code, the Board of Supervisors must adopt the CIP and Budget before May 1. Accordingly, on April 22, 2020, the Board adopted the FY21 Budget. Recognizing there were still some outstanding issues related to the state budget, particularly related to Schools funding, the Board approved budget amendments on May 27, 2020, which will serve as the starting point on July 1, 2020. As information continues to unfold and as economic conditions change, the Board of Supervisors can take action to amend the budget throughout the year. Closing out the prior year culminates with year-end projections and final adjustments to be approved by the Board of Supervisors.