Following a public hearing Wednesday night, the Accomack County Board of Supervisors has set Thursday, March 23 at 5 p.m. to hold a vote on the 2023-24 county budget. The $79,741,554 budget is 8.8% higher than the previous year. County Administrator Mike Mason told the Board that there would be no increase in real estate or personal property taxes with the possible exception of the automobile tax. Mason said that the rate for the automobile tax was reduced in 2022 to offset the spike in car values as a result of the COVID pandemic. Mason said that returning to the previous rate will not result in higher taxes for automobile owners because the evaluation for automobiles has fallen over the past year and that many car tax bills for the 23-24 budget cycle will be less than last year.
Two people addressed the Board during the Public Hearing. Wachapreague Volunteer Fire Company President Shawn Fate reminded the Board that firemen in all of the volunteer companies spend a lot of time and effort in fund raising to help meet the expenses incurred. Fate said that the many dollars raised offset expenses and result in savings to the tax payers.
J. R. Pilchulski, owner of Dixieland, warned the Board that increasing the cigarette taxes too much will result in fewer sales to non resident customers and eventually will eventually result in lower revenues to the County. Mukulski said that there is a line beyond which cigarette tax increases will cease to yield more tax revenues.
The Virginia Code requires a 7 day waiting period before a vote can be taken on the budget.