Increased staffing, salary adjustments, and increased citywide capital and supplemental budget requests explain why Roanoke’s budget will increase a few million dollars this year as City Council approved the fiscal year 2023-24 budget and tax rate Aug. 21.

The tax rate is $0.308039 per $100 valuation, down from last year’s $0.339779 rate, a 9.3% decrease. The budget is $28.5 million, up from last year’s $25.3 million.


Diane Rice, communications and public engagement officer for the city, said in an email that expenses are stimulating the budget increases this year. The city begins preparing budget proposals each spring with presentations occurring each August, Rice said. Should there be no significant council change requests, council then approves the budget by the end of August. This timeline allows city staff to prepare for the new fiscal year approvals and be ready to execute their budgets Oct. 1.

What they said

"As city staff prepared this year's budget, the primary focus was to continue all existing services for our citizens, while maintaining appropriate staffing levels, and maintaining reserve levels in accordance with the city's fiscal policies,” City Manager Cody Petree in an email. “The city of Roanoke remains in a very strong financial position. We are confident this budget will continue to provide the appropriate resources to support our public safety services, many quality leisure and recreational opportunities, and continued investment in Roanoke's infrastructure.”

Zooming in

He said the “fiscally sound budget” meets Roanoke's primary objectives, including:

  • Maintaining financial integrity
  • Providing outstanding public safety and health services to the community
  • Employing high-quality professional personnel
  • Promoting state-of-the-art infrastructure improvements
  • Providing quality leisure opportunities

“We will continue to be diligent in the use of city funds and will remain flexible to adapt to the changing conditions," he said.

Salaries, wages and benefits are the biggest expenditures in the budget, Rice said.

“When broken down by department, our public safety teams receive the largest portions of the budget,” she said.

The police and fire departments each make up 22% of the budget, or 44% overall.

She said the city continues to see increased financial success through sales tax revenue, and the city will continue to maintain fiscally conservative expenditures to help ensure a high quality of living for Roanoke residents.