Prediction of mayhem premature:
The Prince George County Board of Supervisors voted to retain the current real estate tax rate of $.86 per hundred for this fiscal year. It was concluded that the need to raise the tax rate was premature. The BOS also passed a $116 million budget for the 2019 fiscal year.
The proposed property tax increase was being considered to fund one of the two new schools needed to replace obsolete schools. The two schools, built in the 60s, are configured in the campus style popular at the time. From a modern perspective the security issues are more than just a bit scary.
The need to expand the high school was also in the monkey brain of the county’s planners. The BOS however, was dealing with the expectation that we would be paying for one or two new elementary schools and would still need to float debt to pay for a new or vastly expanded high school. This prospect taxed the fiscal tolerance of the Board.
A general consensus had been reached to fund one new elementary school at this time, put the second elementary school on the back burner, and just plain not deal with the high school plant until absolutely, absolutely necessary.
As it happened the School Board was not prepared … no site, no architectural plan (except to build one just like North, the last elementary built in the county nine years ago), obviously no hard construction estimates, and a golly, let’s just build it and it will work out attitude.
The issue will re-emerge, but next year is an election year for three of the five Board of Supervisors as well as for three of the five School Board members. We will not likely be dealing with a property tax increase in an election year. But we will see if the possiblity of political mayhem will appear then.