The City of Norfolk has two powerful new tools to gather public input and provide information as it continues with budget planning this winter.
Balancing Act, an online, interactive workshop, allows residents to share their priorities for the city’s budget: what to keep, what to add, where to cut. Share your thoughts from home or on the go.
Taxpayer Receipt allows residents to see how the city spends tax dollars by providing an unofficial, itemized receipt.
This year, the city enters its budget preparations facing a $13.3 million budget gap. The city wants to hear from residents about what services are the most important.
Balancing Act allows residents to review and choose from some of the same options the city will consider: Cut expenses by reducing personnel or services? Raise revenues by increasing taxes or fees? The online workshop includes information about city departments and the services they provide, and allows users to see how changes affect different areas of the budget.
Taxpayer Receipt shows residents how the city is spending tax dollars, with a to-the-penny breakdown of programs and services supported by residents’ tax dollars.
“We are excited to launch Balancing Act and Taxpayer Receipt,” said city Budget Director Greg Patrick. “These powerful new tools allow residents to express their budget priorities and see government in action — all from the comfort of their homes or offices.”
Balancing Act is already in use by cities around the country, including by our neighbors in Virginia Beach, across the state in Charlottesville, and to the south in Greensboro, NC. The State of Colorado also uses Taxpayer Receipt.
Take a few moments and show us: How would you balance Norfolk’s budget?
Review your taxpayer receipt here.