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March 4, 2019

Warrenton to consider tax and fee increases for budget

Photos/Cassandra Brown
The Warrenton Town Council and department heads review options for the fiscal 2020 budget during Friday’s retreat at the PATH Foundation.
Interim Town Manager Brandie Schaeffer reviews Warrenton’s finances and options for the new budget.
I don’t want to do any tax raises. Hopefully we keep things flat as they are now.
— Councilman Brett Hamby (Ward 2)
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
It could cost more next year to eat at a Warrenton restaurant or to own real estate in town.

The town could need another $607,000 to fund staff raises, health insurance cost increases and additional employees in fiscal 2020, which starts July 1.

Interim Town Manager Brandie Schaeffer reviewed Warrenton’s finances and gave a fiscal 2020 budget preview during a “retreat” Friday with council members, the mayor and department heads.

> Document at bottom of story

Depending on the expenditures it approves this spring, the council might consider increasing the real estate, meals and/or cigarette taxes to balance the budget.

The $27 million proposal includes $2.7 million in capital projects.

Overall, the budget would drop by about $9 million, because of one-time projects funded this fiscal year. But, operations could cost more.

Seven new employees would cost the town an estimated $317,471. The town has 178 full-time employees.

Town department heads suggest adding the following positions:

• Part-time building maintenance worker.

• Full-time wastewater plant maintenance worker.

• Full-time water treatment plant operator.

• WARF facilities manager.

• Full-time membership/grants coordinator.

• Part-time police department IT administrator.

• Full-time finance procurement officer.

For general operations, Ms. Schaeffer offered several options to generate more revenue, many of which the town has implemented in the past:

• Increasing the 4-percent meals tax. Adding a half-cent to the tax would generate $344,000.

• Increasing the real estate tax rate of 5 cents per $100 assessed value. Another penny on the levy would generate $170,000.

• Raising daily and membership fees at the Warrenton Aquatics and Recreation Facility by 5 percent. That would generate an additional $60,000.

• Increasing the 20-cent cigarette tax. Adding 5 cents would generate $20,000.

“These are all things you examine every year during the budget,” Ms. Schaeffer said. “Just tossing it out there as things we have to look at as we have to balance the budget.”

Councilman Brett Hamby (Ward 3) said: “I hope to make a hard attempt to reduce the debt load. We need to come up with a plan for IT.

“I don’t want to do any tax raises,” Mr. Hamby added. “Hopefully we keep things flat as they are now.”

The town’s debt stands at $24.4 million.

Ms. Schaeffer will present her recommended budget in April for town council review.

The council will hold at least three work sessions and a public hearing on the fiscal 2020 budget before adoption on June 11.

This year’s $36.7-million budget includes $15.6 million for general operations and $5.7 million for water and sewer operations.

Kevin Carter (Ward 5) missed Friday’s meeting.

Contact Cassandra Brown at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 540-878-6007.

Town of Warrenton Budget Retreat 030119 by Fauquier Now on Scribd

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brandonj · March 5, 2019 at 11:47 pm
JohnnyD, oh but then people lose power and control. We wouldn't want that! Clearly the best solution is to increase the town limits so they have more tax and spend authority!
nonewtaxes · March 5, 2019 at 7:03 am
hey 2019, how come you are 10000% for raising taxes to increase teacher pay for not for anything else? Arent some illegals women? Arent you concerned about their rights as human beans?

maybe less government would require less taxes.
Savefauquiercounty2019 · March 4, 2019 at 8:38 pm
Start charging parents by the minute for not picking their children up on time.
Add additional tax to tourism such as hotels and motels.
Charge fees for yard sales.
Heavier fines for littering or illegal dumping.

Start holding Friday night dances for teens at the high school, charge $15.00 admission.

Make criminals pay back time police spent on their cases.
Work with ICE and turn illegals over to feds.

Charge dishonest employers that hire them heavier fines.
Review monies spent by the county on illegals and go after these employers to pay community back
Tony Bentley · March 4, 2019 at 5:16 pm
This article says if you live in Warrenton, not the rest of Fauquier County. Is it only Town residents who will get a tax increase?
Tony Bentley · March 4, 2019 at 5:14 pm
On a real estate property assessed at $300,000 divided by 100 = 30,000 x .05 = $150. Whew, another $150 on top of the last property tax increase.
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