Virginia Beach, Norfolk offer resources to residents on budget

NORFOLK — Budget season is upon the cities of Hampton Roads. With the fiscal year turning over July 1, city governments are busy crafting their budget plans in their jurisdictions.

The City of Norfolk’s Fiscal Year 2019 Proposed Budget is available for public viewing. City staff collaborated to develop this budget over months, and are now seeking feedback from residents.

The city has compiled a Budget Toolkit on their website that includes all the city’s budget resources in one place. The toolkit includes links to documents, videos and interactive budget tools as well as a schedule of upcoming budget discussions and meetings.

Related story: Got suggestions for the Virginia Beach budget? Check out ‘Balancing Act’

Both Virginia Beach and Norfolk governments have subscribed to online budget tool, Balancing Act. It allows residents to view and interact with the proposed budget. Users of the tool can increase or decrease spending, share their own version of a proposed budget, and leave comments.

The only catch is that the budget must balance. For every change in spending or revenue, there must be an offsetting change elsewhere. So users can lower taxes on the website, for example, but must lower spending or raise revenues somewhere to balance the budget.

To speak about Norfolk city budget issues in person, residents can attend the Public Budget Hearing at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 18 at Granby High School. This is the only public hearing on the budget, and the only time residents will be able to address council members directly during a public forum on budget items.

A complete list of public hearings and schedules for the City of Norfolk’s proposed 2018-2019 budget can be found here.

As always, residents may express comments or concerns directly to their City Council member, using the contact information found here or by calling 757-664-4268.

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