Stafford County Proposed Budget for 2025 is Over $1 Billion

County Administrator’s budget would fully fund school division, Superintendent’s proposed budget, provide pay increases for government and public safety employees.

by Adele Uphaus

For the first time, the proposed budget for Stafford County is over $1 billion.

“This is very significant,” said County Administrator Randall Vosburg during his presentation of the budget for fiscal year 2025, which begins July 1.

Vosburg presented his proposed budget to the Board of Supervisors at its regular meeting on Tuesday, February 20.

The $1 billion figure represents the total proposed expenditure for all funds, including schools, capital projects, debt service, general government, utilities, and transportation.

“The largest piece of the pie” in terms of expenditures—a slice equaling 62% of all expenditures—would go to schools, capital projects and debt service, Vosburg said.

On the other side of the balanced budget is revenue, over half of which is proposed to come from property taxes (31.8%) and the state of Virginia (30.2%).

As presented by Scott Mayausky, the county’s Commissioner of the Revenue, earlier in Tuesday’s meeting, residential real estate assessments in Stafford are up 13%. Commercial real estate assessments are up 23%.

Eighty-three percent of the county’s property tax base is residential, according to Mayausky’s presentation.

Vosburg is proposing a real estate tax rate for fiscal year 2025 of $0.9175 per $100 of assessed value, and projecting an 11.3% increase in property tax revenue.

Based on the county’s median home value of $434,000, the average annual tax bill under the proposed rate would be $3,985.

That’s an increase of $395 over the previous average tax bill, Vosburg said, or an additional $32 per month.

“About $15 of that can be tagged to educational funding,” he said.

Vosburg said his budget is “lean,” with a focus on maintaining infrastructure and “strategic plan investments.”

He’s proposing a 3% cost of living adjustment for general county government employees, plus another potential 2% merit increase. Public safety employees also could receive a 5% pay increase.

Vosburg’s proposed budget includes $15 million in new money for the school division, which he said would fully fund Superintendent Thomas Taylor’s budget.

The School Board plans to propose a budget that is slightly bigger than Taylor’s because it will include an additional $3.1 million to adjust the salary scale for service employees.

Vosburg’s budget includes a $9.3 million increase in general government support, a $7.2 million increase in public safety funding, and a $2.8 million increase in transportation funding.

Other investments in Vosburg’s budget include $165,000 for “economic development business recruitment support;” $459,000 for event and entertainment funding and trail maintenance; and $100,000 for sustainable growth management in the form of small area plan consulting.

Next up in the budget process is for the School Board to present its budget on February 27 and for the Supervisors to vote on an advertised tax rate on March 5.

Supervisors are required by Virginia law to set an advertised rate, which is the maximum rate they can choose to adopt. The final rate can stay the same or decrease but cannot increase.

Managing Editor and Correspondent