by Jackie Nunnery
RICHMOND—Over the next few months, many numbers will be thrown around locally as county supervisors and school boards prepare budgets for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Something else that will probably get tossed around? The term “unfunded mandates.”
A timely example is the bipartisan push to eliminate the 2.5% grocery and essential hygiene products tax in Virginia. The 2.5% is made up of a 1.5% state portion and a 1% local option sales tax. The state then distributes 1% of its portion to localities based on their school-age population for school funding.
That potential loss of revenue to local school districts is a concern across the Commonwealth. “The state has built-in hold harmless provisions under the biennium budget but no guarantees after that,” said Jason Bellows, president-elect of the Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) and member of the Lancaster County Board of Supervisors. If history is a predictor…[to-view-more]