Mayor Stoney commits to holding RPS funding harmless in Navy Hill proposal

During the Richmond City Council Finance and Economic Development Committee meeting on January 16, Mayor Stoney’s administration committed to ensuring that RPS receives its fair share of revenue growth, including properties included in any Increment Financing Area within Navy Hill.

The administration will continue to allocate 57.76 percent of both current and delinquent real estate taxes, the amount allocated in Fiscal Year 2020, to RPS. This commitment aligns with the policy established by Councilwoman Kristen Larson’s Resolution 2019-R009, which was approved by city council on March 25, 2019.

“It is my top priority to ensure that Richmond Public Schools are the biggest beneficiary of the transformational project we’ve proposed in Navy Hill. That’s why I committed 50 percent of the approximately $1 billion in incremental revenues this project will create for RPS. But I have listened and heard Richmonders’ concerns about funding for RPS,” said Mayor Stoney. “That is why I propose we hold RPS’ funding harmless by budgeting for RPS based on the same formula City Council adopted in 2019, inclusive of properties in the increment financing area.”

As an example, under this resolution, any incremental growth in value from the Dominion Tower in downtown Richmond would still be appropriated based on this resolution, with 57.76 percent of the incremental growth in value being budgeted for Richmond Public Schools.

Current projections by the Departments of Finance and Budget and Strategic Planning, based on increases in taxable assessed values provided by the City Assessor, estimate increases in real estate tax revenues by more than $20 million in FY2021, when compared to the FY2020 adopted budget. Under current projections, the city anticipates that applying Resolution 2019-R009 to future real estate tax collections would result in an incremental $66 million for Richmond Public Schools Annual Budget by FY 2030.

“Our kids are our future, and we need to support them by proving reliable funding to enable RPS to create learning environments that help our youth thrive. Our budgets should always put the interests of our students first, and this proposal ensures they remain our top priority,” said Mayor Stoney.