Chesterfield County provides complete local government services. The county contains no incorporated cities or towns. It is divided into five magisterial districts, each of which is represented by one supervisor elected to serve four years.
These officials form the Board of Supervisors, the legislative body of the county. The Board of Supervisors elects a chairman from its membership for a one-year term. The Board of Supervisors holds regular monthly meetings, and may schedule additional meetings if necessary. The Board appoints a county administrator, who serves as the county's chief administrative officer under the board's direction.
The Board of Supervisors is responsible for establishing local public policy, raising local resources for the support of public programs, and overseeing the conduct of the county's affairs through its appointed administrative officials. County government, as a political subdivision of the state, also assists in the local implementation of state laws and programs.
The Code of Virginia states that the County Board of Supervisors shall have the power to:
- Prepare and approve the county budget
- Levy taxes and appropriate funds
- Audit claims against the county
- Issue warrants in settlement of all claims and accounts
- Construct and maintain county buildings
- Approve and enforce the county's comprehensive plan and land use control ordinances
- Make and enforce ordinances for police, sanitation, health, and environmental government as authorized by law
- Provide for the care and treatment of indigent and physically handicapped county citizens
County Government Finances
County Government Structure
Scope of Services
- County provides all local government services.
- No overlapping of boundaries with cities or towns.
- Public education supported by county taxes via transfer to the School Board.
Assessed Value and Property Taxes
- Property tax rates established by the Board of Supervisors each spring after a public hearing.
- General Government Revenues are budgeted at $701.0 million for FY 2011.
- Total assessed value of taxable real property value in 2009 was $31.6 billion.
- General obligation debt must be approved in referendum.
- Debt secured solely by project revenue does not require referendum. The debt management policy sets a ceiling ratio of debt to assessed value at 3.5 percent.
- No legal debt limit - in practice county limits general obligation debt to 3.5 percent of assessed value and a target ratio of 3 percent.
- Ratio of debt to assessed value as of June 30, 2009 was 1.6%.
Other Financial Issues
- Virginia law requires balanced budget.
- Board policy maintains an undesignated fund balance of 5 percent and a target of 7.5 percent of planned operating expenditures.
- One of the few counties in the nation to hold both the Award for Distinguished Budget Presentation and the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association.
- Consistently improving bond ratings allow the county's general obligation bonds to trade at AAA rates.
- Chesterfield County is one, of fewer than 25 counties in the nation, to hold AAA ratings from all three major bond rating agencies. This status reflects exceptional management of financial operations and conservative fiscal policies.
Richmond is the state capital and the home of the Virginia General Assembly, the oldest continuous representative legislature in the world. The assembly convenes in the city for 45- and 60-day sessions alternating each year. The 60-day session stretches from January through mid-March during which time all state bills are introduced and voted on.
The General Assembly consists of the Senate and the House of Delegates. Senators are elected every four years and delegates hold office for two years.
Legislative information may be obtained by dialing (804) 748-1486 or FAX (804) 748-3952.
More State Government Information