BERRYVILLE — A 12.7% real estate tax rate increase is part of an $8.26 million budget adopted by Berryville Town Council on Tuesday.
The budget is for the new fiscal year that starts July 1.
Under the spending plan, the tax rate will rise from 17.74 cents to 20 cents per $100 of assessed value. At that rate, the owners of a house assessed at $150,000 will see their annual tax bill increase from $266.10 to $300. The new sum doesn't include any taxes they owe to Clarke County.
Basically, the town is taking back a reduction in the tax rate from the prior year and returning it to the previous rate.
The higher rate is anticipated to bring the town an extra $141,000 in real estate tax revenue in fiscal 2022. Officials maintain that more revenue is needed to pay for projects, including stormwater drainage improvements, and additional personnel, including a deputy town manager and extra police department supervisor, deemed necessary as Berryville experiences growth.
No other tax rate hikes are included in the budget. The rate for business machinery and tools is to remain $1.30 per $100 of assessed value, and the personal property rate is to remain $1.25 per $100. State funds that Berryville receives through the Personal Property Tax Relief Act of 1998 will continue covering 70% of most vehicle owners' bills.
The $8,261,832 budget is $630,287 more than the current fiscal year's budget of $7,631,545.
It was adopted in a unanimous vote following a motion by Recorder Erecka Gibson. No comments were made before the vote. A public hearing already was held.
Also Tuesday, the council heard from Pam Kelly of Parshall Road, who complained about drivers pulling up on the wrong side of Academy Street to use a mailbox outside the Berryville Post Office. She said it's a safety hazard.
Kelly said the postmaster told her it's a policing matter. But "if they see a cop there, they're not going to do it," she said of drivers pulling up improperly. "So it's a waste of time."
Mayor Jay Arnold said the town will look into the situation.
The council also appointed:
• Tom Parker to the Berryville Planning Commission. He will fill the unexpired term of Deb Zimmerman, who resigned, until it ends in November.
Parker, a Berryville resident since 2018, has been Loudoun County's chief of staff for more than nine years. He has been on the Berryville Area Development Authority (BADA) since January 2019.
• John Hudson to take Parker's seat on the BADA until the term expires in December.
A lifelong Clarke County resident, Hudson currently is executive director of the Bank of Clarke County Foundation. He is a former member of the Berryville Architectural Review Board.