Westmoreland County Proposed Budget 2019/2020

Every year, counties throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia do what is called a “Proposed Budget”. This is simply what they will be stating that everything under their financial control will cost, to be able to operate in a proficient manner. Westmoreland County is no different. So how does it work and is it complicated to do? Well, yes and no. Hows that for an answer.

Anything can be difficult when you do not know how something is done. A fighter jet pilot will tell you that flying at mach 3 is the easiest thing to do in the world. But before this pilot went through his or her training, they may have been just as dumbfounded as the rest of us. I recently constructed a builtin system for my wife, that covers a 8 foot by 12 foot 10 inch wall in our living room. We had some friends over last week and they asked me how to begin to construct such a complex system. I told them it was simple, just start building boxes and place them together.

I could tell by the look in their eyes that my statement went right over their head. For me it was simple, for them, they had no knowledge in carpentry. The only reason it was simple for me is due to the decades of experience I had before this project was started. Once I explained to them to simply start looking for boxes, inside of other boxes, did they start to understand what I was referring to. So when it comes to proposed budgets, we are going to break it down to budgets, inside of other budgets.

As a Sanitary District, we must submit a proposed budget to Westmoreland County, stating what we think the amount of money we will need to operate our community in a proficient manner. Westmoreland County will then review our proposed budget and determine if what will are asking for will be approved or not. There are many factors that must be taken into consideration when these decisions are made.

Once the Westmoreland County Administrator reviews our proposed budget, he will either approve it, or disapprove it.  If he approves it, then it is forwarded to the Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors for their approval. If they approve it, then the process is complete. If the County Administrator does not approve our budget proposal, he will then make a recommendation to the Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors as to what he thinks the budget should be. If they agree with him, then the proposed budget is amended and then approved.

Now, after Westmoreland County gathers all their information on what they will need to run the County, they go through a similar process with the Commonwealth of Virginia. They send them a budget proposal stating that they need (X) amount of dollars, to operate Westmoreland County in a proficient manner. If their request is approved, then they receive their funds, just as we will receive ours. Since Westmoreland County has many more items that will need to be considered, their budget is more complex then our budget will be.

Now, the more complex a budget, the more experience as well as time, is needed to determine what all this information truly means. So now the Commonwealth of Virginia goes through a similar process concerning their budget, that will be submitted to the Federal level. By this time, if you are not educated in this process or have worked in this field for an extended period of time, your head is just about ready to explode if you start at this top level and try and figure all this information out!

So now to the Federal level. How is that budget proposal submitted? The President submits a budget request to Congress. The House and Senate pass budget resolutions. House and Senate Appropriations subcommittees “markup” appropriations bills. The House and Senate vote on appropriations bills and reconcile differences. You see, every budget proposal has to be approved by someone, right down to our little community. As you can see, the larger the proposed budget, the more in-depth it will be as well as more complicated to figure things out.

Our budget is determined by our Recreational User Fee that is collected by Westmoreland County. The statement below was taken from the Westmoreland County website on April 11th, 2019.

A public hearing will be held by the Board of Supervisors on the FY 2019-2020 proposed budget in the George D. English Building Board Room, 111 Polk Street, Montross, Virginia on Monday, April 22, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. At this time citizens of this County shall have the right to attend and express their views. The budget has been prepared by the County Administrator on the basis of the estimates and requests submitted to the Board of Supervisors by the Constitutional Officers, Department of Social Services, School Board and other agencies.

The inclusion of any item shall be for information and fiscal planning purposes only and shall not be deemed to be an appropriation. No money shall be paid out or become available to be paid out for any contemplated expenditure unless and until there has first been made an appropriation for such contemplated expenditure by the Board of Supervisors of Westmoreland County.

Detailed budgets are available for inspection in the Office of the County Administrator located in the George D. English, Sr. Memorial Bldg., Montross, Virginia between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday. Budget figures shown for FY 2019-2020 are proposals only and have not been approved by the Board of Supervisors. The tax rates shown below are proposed tax rates required to fund the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year as advertised. The Board of Supervisors has the right to adopt tax rates lower than those advertised below. The final rates for FY 2019-2020 will be set by the Board of Supervisors when the final County budget is adopted.

We will be attending this meeting. You may also wish to attend as well, to see how this process works, as well as ask any questions you may have. You can view/download the Westmoreland County proposed budget for 2019/202 by clicking here. Your neighbor, Dana.



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