“We’ve not wavered in keeping our promises,” County Manager John Vithoulkas says in State of the County address
Henrico County will consider paying a dividend to property owners in the first half of 2022 that would amount to a 2-cent rate reduction for real estate taxes paid this year.
In preparing a budget for fiscal 2022-23, officials also will look at a corresponding move to lower the real estate tax rate from 87 cents currently to 85 cents per $100 of assessed value.
County Manager John A. Vithoulkas outlined the recommendations in broad terms as part of his 2021 State of the County address, which was held Dec. 9 at the Hilton Richmond Hotel and Spa in Short Pump.
He focused his 53-minute presentation on Henrico’s record of keeping its promises to the community and, whenever possible, overdelivering on them. He offered the proposed tax relief measures as proof that the county will continue to try to reduce the tax burden on residents and businesses even as it pushes to boost investments in public facilities and infrastructure, address the needs of vulnerable residents, bolster employee salaries, protect the environment and enhance the county’s business climate.
“No government or organization can be truly great if it doesn’t master the basics and build on that premise,” Vithoulkas told the gathering of business and community leaders and senior county employees.
The State of the County address highlighted Henrico’s recent accomplishments in key service areas, provided updates on projects funded through the 2016 bond referendum and detailed plans for another bond referendum on next November’s ballot.
“We’ve not wavered in keeping our promises,” he said.
The 2022 bond referendum is expected to propose more than $500 million in projects that would improve schools, parks, firehouses and other public-safety facilities as well as upgrade drainage infrastructure to reduce neighborhood flooding.
Reflecting on the past year, Vithoulkas said record budget surpluses and booming development have put Henrico in an enviable financial position. As a result, he’ll recommend that the Board of Supervisors consider several proposals to advance key priorities.
In addition to the dividend and real estate tax rate reduction, Vithoulkas said he will recommend a “substantial” salary increase for county employees for the upcoming budget. He said that will build on its promise to be the region’s government pay leader.
To continue to attract and retain business investment, Vithoulkas said he would recommend the creation of “technology zones” in the Innsbrook and Westwood areas. He also will propose tax incentives that would be available countywide for labs and other businesses specializing in research and development.