Harrisonburg City Council to Discuss Real Estate Tax

HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Harrisonburg City Council will be meeting to talk about the budget for the upcoming year with the intent to pass it on Tuesday night.

Council members will be discussing whether or not to increase the real estate tax.

The initial real estate tax increase that was suggested was four cents, and nowthey've cut the money needed for projects next year almost in half.

Initially, it was $600,000 and now they need $372,151 for projects.

Vice-Mayor Charles Chenault said council members will talk about how they can lower expenditures to make no tax increase possible.

Otherwise, they'll be considering a tax increase that's two cents, which is lower than the initial four cent tax.

Chenault said they do need that money for projects, which include building a new middle school and rehabilitating an elementary school.

Chenault said that pulling from the city's reserve funds is an option, because they have enough money set aside.

"If we have excess money that we know we can reach and suffer no consequence because of it, then we need to do that. We don't need to be raising taxes when we've got revenue available," said Chenault.

Another option is to hold off on public safety projects, such as two traffic light replacements planned for Mosby road and Pleasant Hill road intersections

Chenault said those are key projects for the city.

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in the council chambers on South Main street.

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