Hampton’s budget for fiscal year 2018 includes more money for schools

A file image of downtown Hampton taken in 2015. (WAVY Photo)

HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Hampton City Council adopted a budget for fiscal year 2018 that includes additional funding for schools and investments in new equipment for police.

The $467.8 million budget includes $186.3 million for the city’s operating expenses, $203.7 million for schools’ operation and $77.9 million for other items including debt, capital for city and schools, regional entities and more.

There is no general tax increase. However, the city is adding a tax on recreational vehicles, below the regular personal property rate, at $1.50 per hundred of value. The city says all other localities in the region tax RVs with $1.50 as the most common rate.

The trash fee also will increase to fund replacement equipment. That will amount to an extra 22 cents a week, or $11.44 a year, per household.

Other budget highlights include:

  • Boosted funds for schools beyond the funding formula, both for operations and for one-time academy funding
  • Adding 12 police officers this year
  • Expanding youth violence prevention efforts
  • Enhanced public safety street lighting program
  • School personnel and full-time city staff will get 2 percent raises

Mayor Donnie Tuck praised City Manager Mary Bunting and her staff for coming up with a budget in a difficult year. He noted that statistics show the entire Hampton Roads region has a tendency to lag behind the rest of the nation in the economic recovery. Some other localities, Tuck said, were forced to consider raising real estate tax rates this year.

Council made few changes to the Bunting’s recommended budget, which you can see here. The final version of the approved budget will be posted by the beginning of the fiscal year on July 1.