No tax increases proposed for Windsor

Published 4:44 pm Tuesday, May 26, 2020

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No tax increases are planned for Windsor residents during the 2020-2021 fiscal year, according to a draft budget Interim Town Manager Sanford “Sandy” Wanner released on May 1.

That’s in spite of an anticipated 5 percent reduction in sales tax, meals tax and business license revenue due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 virus. To make up for this loss, Wanner proposes transferring $40,000 from the town’s unappropriated fund balance, but warns that if the pandemic continues for an extended amount of time, the town’s actual financial losses may be greater.

While the real estate tax rate itself is to remain at 10 cents per $100, information the town has received from Isle of Wight County’s Commissioner of the Revenue’s Office indicates that real estate valuations are expected to increase by 3 percent this coming fiscal year, meaning homeowners in town could still see their tax bills go up. The town’s water rate is planned to remain at $7.50 per 1,000 gallons.

Projected revenues and expenditures total roughly $1.95 million, an increase of just over $100,000 from the $1.84 million adopted at the start of the current fiscal year. Included in the proposed general fund budget is the final payment on two police vehicles purchased last fiscal year, and $90,000 for the final debt payment on the 2018 renovation of the Windsor Town Center.

Construction of a new 4,000-square-foot public works building is also set to begin this coming fiscal year, but the funding set aside for this project will actually come out of the current year’s budget. On May 12, Windsor’s Town Council awarded the job to C.W. Brinkley, a Suffolk-based construction firm, which had bid $621,075 for the project. The bid includes the cost of site work.

A public hearing on the proposed budget is scheduled for Tuesday, May 26, at 7 p.m. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and town offices remaining closed to the public, the town is instructing those who wish to comment on the budget to email their remarks to Town Clerk Terry Whitehead at Written remarks may also be sent by mail to 8 E. Windsor Blvd., P.O. Box 307, Windsor, VA 23487. The clerk will provide such comments to the Town Council prior to the vote, which is also scheduled to take place that evening.