CHRISTIANSBURG – Christiansburg voters will decide whether to pass a proposed renewal levy during the election on March 17. According to the ballot language, this issue is for “a renewal of a tax for the benefit of the village of Christiansburg for the purpose of current expenses at a rate not exceeding 1 mill for each one dollar of valuation, which amounts to $0.10 for each one hundred dollars of valuation, for 5 years, commencing in 2020, first due in calendar year 2021.“
Originally passed in 2005, the levy is expected to generate $6,800 annually for the life of the levy (2020-2024) and will cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $24.48 a year.
This is the same levy that, as a replacement levy, failed in November 2019.
Christiansburg has another one-mill, five-year current-expenses levy that generates $5,300 annually for the life of the levy (2018-2022); it costs the owner of a $100,000 home about $24.48.
Newly-elected Christiansburg Mayor Delbert Davis said he is not certain the renewal is necessary.
“I’ve talked to three different council members who said it was for the general fund for current expenses, but no one was sure where the money was being disbursed,” he said.
Council member Allen Miller said he supports the levy renewal.
“The way tax money is today, and everybody’s getting hit, we sure hope (that it passes),” he said. “We definitely need the money. It’s going to have a big effect down the road on the wages we can pay village employees.”
Village Fiscal Officer Theresa Lewis could not be reached for comment.
Davis, a retired maintenance supervisor, was appointed to the village council in 1996-1997 and recently attended his first council meeting as mayor. Davis said he does not feel that the council has been effectively representing the residents and added that he has questions about the village finances.
“In the past there’s been people that’s asked (about finances) and not really got an answer, because it was such a guarded secret back in the ’90s when I was on council,” he said. …It’s a covert thing that they’ll tell you what they have in the general fund, but they don’t tell you what they have overall. If it doesn’t pass, and even if it does pass, I particularly want to bring that information out. We want to know how much money we have. We want to know not only where it’s going, but what do we have that we didn’t know we had in the first place.”
Davis said the original levy may have passed only because less than 30% of village residents vote in a typical election. He encouraged residents to show up at village council meetings to discover the facts and to be heard.
Christopher Selmek can be reached at 937-508-2304