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Posted on: May 24, 2023

Martinsville City Council adopts FY 2024 budget on first reading

Photo of current city council with William Wall, if I were mayor contest winner

Below is a summary of the Martinsville City Council meeting held on Tuesday, May 23rd. To watch a video of the entire meeting click here. 

FY 2024 Budget Adopted 

After conducting a public hearing, Martinsville City Council voted to adopt the FY 2024 budget on first reading.

City manager Leon Towarnicki presented the original proposed budget during the April 25th City Council meeting which was followed by budget work sessions on May 10th, May 16th, May 17th, and May 22nd. During the May 22nd work session, budget recommendations were made to staff by council to develop an alternate budget that reduced the real estate tax rate to $0.99/$100 and eliminated the use of ARPA funding. 

During the May 23rd council meeting, the city manager presented changes made to the budget, which were highlighted by the elimination of use of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding and a real estate tax reduction. More details on the changes made to the proposed budget are available here. 

While adopting the FY 24 budget on first reading, council requested that staff add around $280,000 in funding for two police officers and two teachers. Staff will present the budget with those changes during the next council meeting where council may adopt the final budget upon second reading. 

Meals, Cigarette, and Lodging Tax Changes

In lieu of creating new revenue without relying on the increase real estate tax assessments and APRA funding, council approved the following tax rate increases and policies: 

  • Cigarette Tax: Increase from .30 to .40
  • Lodging Tax: Increase from 2% to 7%
  • Meals Tax: Approved change in policy to allow transfer in funds from the Meals Tax Fund to General Fund


Council made the following appointments during closed session:

  • Jean Odachowski reappointed to the Henry County-Martinsville Joint Social Services Board
  • Brittiany Freeland appointed to the West Piedmont Planning District Technical Advisory Committee

'If I Were Mayor' 

City Council recognized Martinsville Middle School 7th grader William Wall for winning the Virginia Municipal League's 'If I Were Mayor' essay contest. Wall read his winning essay from the mayor’s chair and received a certificate and gift card from a representative of the Virginia Municipal League. 

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