It’s time to crunch the numbers, Richmond. Last week, Mayor Levar Stoney unveiled his Proposed Annual Fiscal Plan for Fiscal Year 2023 — aka FY23. He also introduced the Proposed Capital Improvement Plan for the next five years.
First, a quick civics refresher. The city is obligated to produce a balanced budget every fiscal year. The mayor submits a proposal in the first week of March, and then City Council has until the end of May to pass a spending plan. The fiscal year begins on July 1.
The FY23 document is 500+ pages long — not exactly light reading. Here’s a brief rundown of what’s inside.
- $17.4 million for a first responder step pay plan to increase pay for police officers + firefighters
- An additional $15 million for Richmond Public Schools, placed in a contingency fund until the school board presents a fully categorized budget
- Investments in Parks, Recreation, and Community Facilities ($1.5 million), the Eviction Diversion Program ($727,000), and the Richmond Behavioral Health Authority ($3.7 million)
- Increased funds for transportation infrastructure and the GRTC
- Restoring Richmond Public Libraries to pre-pandemic funding ($436,000) and launching a Park Ranger Pilot Program ($250,000)
Check out a larger list of included projects from the City’s press release here.
According to the mayor’s office, the proposed plan does not raise taxes. The administration is proposing:
- Increases in the hourly parking rate (from $1.50 to $2 per hour)
- Raising the fee for municipal solid waste (up to $22.45 per month instead of $21.45)
- Single-digit percentage increases in gas, water, sewer, and stormwater utilities
Here’s where we come in. Before City Council approves a plan, they collect input from citizens. There will be a number of public meetings + opportunities to speak with your council member in order to have your voice heard. Pro tip: you can look up your council member if you’re unsure who they are.
We’ll be keeping readers updated about the next steps for the FY23 budget. In the meantime, feel free to peruse the full proposal.