Board of Supervisors Budget Questions & Responses

During the budget development process, staff takes note of the questions asked by Board members and provides written responses to questions for which responses were not readily available at the time the questions were asked.

View each question and its answer in the table, or view all of the Board questions and responses.

Question
​Number

​​Board Questions
Response Document
1
Does the County have the ability to set a threshold for personal property tax on business furniture and fixtures such that until a business reached a certain threshold, it would not have to pay the tax? Response
2
Provide the actual numbers associated with the various percentage increases from 2015 that were cited in the Free Lance-Star article about the Schools’ budget on January 22, 2020. (Enrollment, English Learners, Special Education, Free & Reduced Meals). Additionally, provide the actual numbers associated with these same variables comparing from last year to this year. Response
3
Were the per student funding figures shown on the screen at the February 11, 2020 Board of Supervisors meeting the correct numbers pulled from Table 15 of the VDOE Superintendent’s Annual Report for 2017 – 2018? Is it correct that Spotsylvania is 58th out of 132 school divisions in terms of local per student funding? Response
4
Is it the case that Spotsylvania includes debt service in the Schools’ budget and Stafford maintains debt service for its schools in the County budget? Is this impacting the numbers in Table 15 of the VDOE Superintendent’s Annual Report for 2017 – 2018? Response
5
Also in regards to Table 15 of the VDOE Superintendent’s Annual Report for 2017 – 2018, is it the case that we could reasonably expect smaller jurisdictions to have greater costs per pupil due to larger jurisdictions having economies of scale? Response
6
How much of the costs of the 5 DSS positions added for FY 2021 is estimated to be funded by the State? Response
7
Provide a breakdown of the Library increase. Response
8
Are we already at the maximum percentage allowed to be charged for meals tax? Response
9
What is the amount of personal property tax revenue we receive per penny on the rate? Response
10
Where does Spotsylvania rank on testing scores compared to other jurisdictions? Response
11
How does the pay for Spotsylvania bus drivers compare to Stafford? Response
12
What was Evergreen’s recommendation for School’s administrative staff?   Response
13
Explain the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. How many students are enrolled in this program? What is the success rate? What is the cost of this program? Response
14
Since 2015 what is the % and actual # increase in the student population? How does this compare to average daily membership (ADM) for the same years? Response
15
Please explain the differences between slides 20 & 26.  Response
16
What is the LCI? Show the calculation. What is the purpose and how does it affect the locality? Response
17
Please provide the 2015 comparison for the figures on slide 5. Response
18
Does the recommended budget include both a step increase and 4% increase for staff? Response
19
What were the 330-340 positions during the recession? How many and which ones have been added back since then? Response
20
What is the teacher attrition rate? How many teacher vacancies do we currently have? Response
21
If only the inflation rate were applied to the 2015 Budget, what would the 2021 Budget be? Response
22
Of the $17M in federal funding shown on slide 15, what’s the actual cost for the programs? Response
23
How much do the various special education programs cost? What portion is mandated and what’s the offsetting State and Federal revenues? Response
24
Provide the local transfer funding allocated in the Schools’ budget for Fund 1 (Governor’s School), Fund 2 (Juvenile Detention), and Fund 4 (Regional Adult Education).  Response
25
Please provide the number of FTEs and change in number of FTEs from FY 2015 to FY 2021. Response
26
If SROs and other school-related costs funded in the County’s budget are added to the annual school budgets, what is the budget cost for each year FY 2015 – FY 2021? Response
27
What is the term of the bonds issued for the turf fields, and what is the total cost to be paid – principal and interest – over that period of time? Response
28
How many positions have been added for Fire/Rescue and the Sheriff’s Office over the last 10 years? Of that figure, identify how many were added because of the new Co. 11 station. How many and what is the cost of the apparatus purchases during those same 10 years. Response
29
How many of the following positions do we currently have: permit techs, commercial inspectors, residential inspectors, and plan reviewers. How many of these positions did we have before the economic downturn, which resulted in a RIF? Will the positions in the recommended budget bring us back to staffing levels prior to the RIF? Response
30
What is the cost savings to remove the 1.8% COLA from the public safety compensation adjustment? Please provide the minimum and maximum raises that were received when the Board approved the adjustments by department with an explanation of those in Communications that received $0 due to being at the top of their scale. Response
31
Explain the need for the career coaches proposed by Germanna. How many school counselors are being added to the Schools’ budget? Response
32
Please provide more information about the Planning/Marketing analysis study. Response
33
How many positions have been added to the Treasurer’s Office in the last 5 years? Response
34
How many positions have been added to the Assessment Office in the last 5 years? Response
35
If 2 of the 3 Sampler positions were removed, would a Sample Coordinator be necessary? Response
36
Explain why the longevity adjustments are included again when the Evergreen study implementation was completed in the current year’s budget. Response
37
Provide as part of the question/response packet the Board Communication sent regarding justifications for recommended new positions. Response
38
What is a literacy coach? Response
39
What are the costs related to cafeteria and custodial services? Response
40
What is the primary reason for teachers and support staff leaving Spotsylvania County Public Schools in 2018-2019? Response
41
What can the Board of Supervisors and School Board do to meet with State and Federal representatives to lobby for adequate funding? Response
42
What positions are included in the State funding for pay increases (Standards of Quality)? Response
43
What percentage of athletic coaches are SCPS teachers of support employees? Response
44
Is the Commissioner able to provide an extension of the deadlines for filing assessment appeals and real estate tax relief for the elderly and disabled?  Response
45
How much tax revenue is generated per penny in each of the SSDs? How much revenue does each SSD generate? Response
46
How many nonresident students are enrolled in the Spotsylvania schools? How many of these students have a parent working in the school system? Response
47
Would the County lose State or Federal funds if children of Schools’ employees residing outside the County were not allowed to attend Spotsylvania County Public Schools? Response
48
What is the cost benefit in allowing Schools’ employees who reside out the County to enroll their children in our school system without a fee? What would be the negative effect if this was not a free option? Response
49
What is the total # of new special needs students to be served in the FY 2021 budget? Response
50
How much of the funding, in both $ and %, allocated by the State for our Schools is tied directly to a mandate or otherwise considered pass-through funds? Are we required to match any of the State or Federal fund with local funds? Response
51
Is there a grant that has been received for paying for AP & IB tests for disadvantaged or other students? If so, why was a portion of the FY 2019 carryover allocated for this purpose? Response
52
In reference to the comparative data in Table 15 of the VDOE Superintendent’s Annual Report for 2017 – 2018, why is Spotsylvania’s per pupil federal funding so comparatively low? Response
53
Please explain what the Office on Youth is and why funding for that regional agency is being increased in the Recommended Budget. Response
54
Of the new money coming to the Schools from the State, how much of it is required to be dedicated to certain expenditures as is not available of general purposes? Response
55
Reference was made at the 2/25/2020 Board meeting to the current average age of the bus fleet being between 5 and 6 years. Please provide information on the expected full life span of a bus, the mileage at which they are typically replaced, and State requirements pertaining to bus replacements.   Response
56
In follow-up to the previously answered Question 1, since there is no authority to change the business furniture and fixtures threshold to anything greater than the $15 currently permitted by State Code, could the County instead give a taxpayers a credit towards the business furniture and fixtures? Response
57
Please explain the calculation of the equalized rate. Is new construction factored out? What additional real estate revenue is coming in at the equalized rate and what is it being used for in the Recommended Budget? Response
58
What % of residents would pay more in real estate tax at the equalized rate based on the new reassessment values? Response
59
What motions were made by School Board members to reduce the School Board’s budget and the funding gap? What items were cut and how much? Response
60
Could we build a new middle school for less than the $55M renovation and expansion of Spotsylvania Middle School planned in the CIP? Response
61
What is our total new revenue expected for FY 2021? What is our total new revenue expected for FY 2021 at the equalized rate? What would our total budget be at the equalized rate? What is a penny worth on the real estate tax rate? What is a penny worth on the personal property tax rate? Response