VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Beach City Council adopted the city’s fiscal year 2023-24 budget on Tuesday night.
The vote was 8-3, with council members Sabrina Wooten, Chris Taylor and Barbara Henley voting no.
All three who voted no again criticized how the budget process played out, and how there was no reduction to the city’s 99-cent real estate tax rate despite another year of higher-than-expected residential assessments, up about 9.7% on average.
Wooten and Taylor also lambasted the late addition of millions of dollars in city funds going toward the Atlantic Park project. Wooten called that one of two “elephants in the room,” in addition to the lack of tax relief.
“Atlantic Park and the $17 million that was at the last minute implemented in the reconciliation process, that’s not the best way to put in such a magnitude of a decision based on taxpayer money … the citizens didn’t have a chance to review, talk about, provide feedback, that’s not transparent,” Wooten said.
Vice Mayor Rosemary Wilson in voting yes praised the budget’s raises for city teachers and the addition of more than 40 new EMS positions.