What is ORD 137 and 140?
Meals Tax Allocation (ORD2016-137) = Redirect revenues from meals tax to schools (projected $35M)
Allocating 100% of the meals tax revenue stream provides direct, transparent, and not an uncommon funding source for schools (Henrico County dedicates their entire meals tax to schools)
- Meals tax is a predictable and increasing revenue source which details a steady progression from $24M in 2009 to $33M in 2016 (see page 6 of Davenport study)
Real Estate Tax Allocation (ORD2016-140) = Redirect 60.8% of annual real estate revenues to schools (projected $146M)
- 60.8% is the current year’s percentage of real estate taxes that were appropriated to schools
- Real estate is a predictable source of revenue that local governments use to project and plan budgets (see page 6 of Davenport study)
- By carving out a portion to address a major priority concern of the city (education), we begin to lessen the unpredictable swings in budgeting due to political posturing
Why ORD 137 and 140?
1. Improve Budget Process
This past budget season wasn't fun for anyone. If we are to improve our current state of friction and contention to predictability and proactive discussion, then it needs to begin with planning an RPS budget for multiple years that establish clear funding benchmarks.
2. Provide Adequate Annual Maintenance Funding
RPS needs between $11M to $15M annually to provide baseline investment in school facility maintenance. This could easily be accomplished with earmarking a portion of the meals tax to directly fund annual maintenance on school facilities.
3. Education as Economic Development
This is the PERFECT opportunity to tie economic development into education. We need to strategically capitalize on our growing food scene and white hot housing market to help our weakest link, schools. Conversely, by investing in education we retain and attract families, thus leading to rising home values and more family dinners at Mama J's.
How to pass ORD 137 and 140?
Show up and speak out!
If you can show up to the meetings, please do. No public comment will be allowed at the committee meeting, but as we saw this spring, public awareness impacts action. Email City Council with your support today!
Showing solidarity early in the process towards solutions to our dysfunctional budget process is needed. These ordinances may not be the perfect solution, but are a much needed attempt to rectify our current situation before next year’s budget planning begins in October.
1. Finance and Economic Development Committee
Date: Thursday, June 23rd at 3:30pm
City Council members Ellen Robertson, Kathy Graziano, Parker Agelasto, and alternate Charles Samuels comprise the committee. If the committee recommends denial, it will take 5 votes in a Council work session to list on consent agenda for a vote. Please contact these Council members before 3:30pm today!
2. City Council meeting
These ordinances will eventually be brought to a public hearing at a City Council meeting, but whether it garners enough support will most likely be determined in committee work sessions.