The Interim Town Manager has submitted his proposed annual budget to Town Council. This year’s budget represents a balance budget and creates a stormwater fund in addition to the general fund and utility fund. The purpose of this budget is to plan necessary operating and capital expenditures for the next fiscal year to meet Council and citizen expectations while servicing the Town’s debt. Quality community services such as police, public works, fire and EMS, special programs, War Memorial facility, planning and financial services will continue to be offered at a reasonable cost.
With regard to revenues, the real estate tax revenue only accounts for 3.97% of the Town’s total general fund revenues with a tax rate of $0.07/$100 of assessment value. The town did see real estate assessments increase by approximately 0.62% with the 2016 reassessment. The meals tax continues to be a strong revenue source for the Town and is estimated to generate $924,478 and the cigarette tax rate of $.25 is unchanged and is estimated to generate approximately $1,734,700.
The budget includes an increase of the transient occupancy tax rate from 2% to 7% of the total amount of charge for the occupancy of any room or space provided for fewer than 30 consecutive days. This recommended increase will be used for visitor attraction and quality of life initiatives. The transient occupancy tax has not been changed since 1982.
The Town of Vinton continues to work independently and collectively with other local and regional partners to pursue a variety of economic development activities to expand and diversify the local economy. In partnership with Roanoke County, Vinton has recently began to realize some success in these strategies with the relocation of companies like Magnets USA to a former vacant building, as well as the recent sale of the former Roland E. Cook, former William Byrd High School and the River Park Shopping Center to private real estate developers for new housing and retail opportunities.
In addition, likely development of the old Vinton Branch Library, former Vinton Motors Dealership and interest the Gish Mill Property prove that the Town is primed to continue to take advantage of this approach into the foreseeable future.
With regard to the water and sewer fund, there is no proposed rate increase. A comprehensive rate structure analysis was presented to Council in January 2013. As part of the Cost of Service Study an 8.9% rate increase in water and sewer rates was approved for both FY 2014/15 and FY 2015/16 which will provide funding for infrastructure needs, capital needs and reserve funds needed in the Utility Fund. To continue to provide funding to maintain our water and sewer system, it will be necessary to do another comprehensive rate structure analysis during the FY 2016-2017 budget year to assist Council in making a sound decision concerning future rate increases.
Budget expenditures were identified in the general fund and utility fund relating to stormwater were transferred to a new fund. This will assist staff and Council in knowing the dollar amounts associated with the costs of stormwater management in order to make a sound decision on a future stormwater utility fee in the Town. Funding is needed to ensure that Town will continue to stay in compliance with the stormwater permits requirements and the additional Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) Action Plans requirements.
The Proposed FY 2016-2017 budget also recognizes economic development initiatives throughout the Town which will create synergy and bring continued growth to our Vinton economy. Through this budget, we will continue to make Vinton the “IN” place to live, work and play.
If you have any questions, please contact the Town Manager's Office at (540) 983-0607.
Interim Town Manager's Budget Overview
Proposed FY 2016-2017 Budget
Final FY 2016-2017 Budget