Warren County plans to keep tax rates the same this year as leaders hash out next year’s possible spending plan.

The Board of Supervisors meet Tuesday to further discuss the proposed fiscal 2022 budget and decide on tax rates to advertise for the public hearing. Earlier this week, the board held a work session to continue its work on the spending plan.

Interim County Administrator Edwin Daley reiterated Thursday that the budget remains in draft form and is not yet prepared for the public hearing advertisement.

Board of Supervisors members agreed early in the budget discussions to leave tax rates unchanged at 65.5 cents per $100 of the assessed value on real estate and $4 per $100 of the assessed value on personal property such as vehicles. Other tax levies will remain the same.

The proposed spending plan presented Tuesday of $126,592,012 includes $63,944,829 as requested by the School Board. The budget total presented earlier this week reflects an increase of $7,980,703 or 6.7% over the current period of $118,611,309.

Further adjustment to the revenue figures and expenditures should eliminate a deficit of approximately $1 million, less than 1% of the current budget, Daley explained. As of Thursday, the deficit had been reduced to under $500,000.

Warren County officials forecast a slight increase in the amount of revenue from real estate tax. However, the county could receive approximately $1.25 million in additional revenue from personal property tax and $600,000 from local sales tax.

Local governments a year ago braced for a hit to their revenue as the COVID-19 pandemic forced many businesses to close. Shutdowns mostly affect local revenue sources such as taxes on sales, meals, hotels and business licences, Daley said.

“If you close the business, you still have the same property tax you did before,” Daley said.

County revenues show improvement with an increase in sales tax of approximately 7% over last year, Daley noted. Hotel tax revenue is at roughly 5-6% ahead of last year, he said, adding that taxes on machinery and tools as well as from businesses licenses appear up slightly.

The meals tax fell dramatically from February to March of last year by 30%, Daley said. But by the fall, meals taxes had increased and reduced the loss by 2-3%. In November, Warren County’s meals tax revenue exceeded the amount collected the previous year, he noted, adding that revenue collection from the meals tax continues to show improvement from last year. Revenue from meals tends to flow in cycles, he said.

“But it’s now back where it is stable and it is doing better,” Daley said. “It’s improving.

“So the COVID impact there, we had expenditures but the COVID revenues for the end of the year, when we did the audit, you know, they came out pretty good,” Daley said.

Visit www.warrencountyva.net/current-tax-rates for more information on county tax rates.

– Contact Alex Bridges at abridges@nvdaily.com