County Administrator Presents Stafford County's FY2025 Proposed Budget

County Administrator Randy Vosburg presented the FY2025 Proposed Budget at the Board of Supervisors meeting on February 20, 2024. Starting July 1, 2024, the All Funds Budget totals $1,006,659,515.

Proposed 2025 Budget Overview

The proposed Budget suggests a decrease in the real property tax rate from $0.93 to $0.9175 per $100 of assessed value. This change will lead to an increase of $395 in the average tax bill, which will now be $3,985 per year. Despite this increase, the average tax bill remains one of the region's lowest.

"I am incredibly proud of this budget as it balances the absorption of American Rescue Plan Act program costs, growing school needs, rising costs due to inflation, and security and compliance requirements," said County Administrator Randy Vosburg. "This budget allows us to fund community partners and invest in our employees to continue to provide the high standard of services expected by our community. More satisfyingly, I am pleased to have worked with the School Superintendent to find a way to secure a balanced approach to community and school needs while meeting his budget request."

Proposed 2025 Budget Drivers

Stafford has one of the highest median household incomes among comparable jurisdictions and continues to see employment growth in our community. However, Stafford faces a fast-growing population. Stafford’s school division is projected to send the second biggest enrollment increase in the state even as localities to the north lose students. This challenge is coupled with having Virginia's largest veteran population—one of Stafford's greatest strengths—positioning Stafford's residents to cover tax relief impacts of nearly 6.5 cents on the tax rate. The Veterans Tax Relief Program is an unfunded state mandate that has seen an increase of 75% from 2022 to 2025, costing Stafford's taxpayers $16.2 million for all tax relief.

While the economy continues to move forward positively, our community, including government operations and staff, is dealing with inflation and market challenges. These challenges could impact the efficiency and effectiveness of government operations. This budget invests in compliance, safety and capacity resources regarding cyber security, code compliance, FOIA and election security. Transportation is still a significant priority as Stafford seeks ways to complement the work of the Virginia Department of Transportation on roads.

The FY2025 Proposed Budget

The Budget proposes:

  • $19.6 million for education that meets the Superintendent’s budget, allocating nearly 50% of all new revenue to the schools. This funding should provide schools the needed funding for teacher and support positions pay increases.
  • $9.3 million for general government support to combat inflation increases, a 5% pay increase for all staff, three positions for social services and 14 general government staff members to ensure high-quality service for our community to meet compliance and capacity needs.
  • $7.2 million for public safety to include 21 public safety positions, including two ambulance crews for Fire and Rescue, two Sheriff Court Deputies, a Sheriff Deputy Traffic Supervisor, a Commonwealth’s Attorney Paralegal, and a Fire Marshal.
  • $2.8 million for new and ongoing transportation projects, including moving forward on six 2019 Road Bond Referendum Road Widening and Safety Projects.

The Capital Improvement Program (CIP)

The FY2025-2035 CIP includes County and School projects totaling $1.24 billion for the ten years. In FY2025, Education leads with 61% of projects, followed by transportation at 18% and public safety at 6%.

Notable projects include over $80 million for schools for projects such as Elementary Schools #18 and #19, along with a rebuild of Drew Middle School. In addition, significant investments have been made in Musselman Park and the initial stages of the Embrey Mill and Aquia Harbour fire stations. This year's budget marks the implementation of the long-awaited Courthouse project, which is expected to be completed by FY2030.

Public Participation

The public can participate in many ways, including attending Board of Supervisors meetings, public hearings, email, phone and social media. The FY2025 Proposed Budget and CIP are accessible through Stafford's OpenGov platform. You can move graphs, see number breakdowns and dive deeper into the budget, maximizing communication and transparency with the public.

To access the online Proposed Budget, please visit www.staffordcountyva.gov/proposedbudget, and for the entire budget process calendar, please visit www.staffordcountyva.gov/budget.

The FY2025 budget public hearing is scheduled for March 19, 2024, at 7:00 p.m. at the George L. Gordon, Jr., Government Center, 1300 Courthouse Road, Stafford, VA 22554. Watch live by visiting www.staffordcountyva.gov.