Site MapPrivacy PolicyCompensation Board Banner
Staff Directory

Restricted Access
Constitutional Officers Budgets and Salaries
Calendar and Meetings
Publications and Forms
Frequently Asked Questions
Local Inmate Data System
Constitutional Officers Information Network
Policies and Procedures
Technology Trust Fund
Links to other Websites

Frequently Asked Questions

About the Compensation Board


The mission of the Compensation Board is to determine a reasonable budget for the participation of the Commonwealth toward the total cost of office operations for Constitutional Officers, and to assist those officers and their staff through automation, training and other means, to improve efficiencies and to enhance the level of services provided to the citizens of Virginia.

Staff Mission

The mission of the Compensation Board staff is to professionally implement the policies and decisions of the Compensation Board; to keep Board members informed of major issues affecting Constitutional Officers; to assist local governments in issues relating to constitutional officers; and to provide the highest quality service and assistance to the constitutional officers consistent with Board policy and the laws of Virginia.

We recognize that constitutional officers are elected by the people of Virginia and that our actions and decisions are for the ultimate benefit of the people of Virginia. In providing our services to the Compensation Board, constitutional officers and local governments, we value accuracy and timeliness, helpfulness and courtesy, respect, integrity, fairness and frugality in the expenditure of public funds.

Directions to the Compensation Board

The Compensation Board is located on the 1st floor of the Oliver W. Hill Building on Capitol Square at 102 Governor Street.
I-95 North (From Petersburg, Virginia)
In Richmond take exit 74A to the Downtown Expressway/I-195. Take the Canal Street exit, turn left onto E. Canal St., turn right on S. 9th St., turn right on Bank St., turn left on Governor St.; 102 Governor Street is on your left.

I-95 South (From Fredericksburg, Virginia)
In Richmond take exit 74B, Franklin St. Turn right on E. Franklin St., turn right on Governor St.; 102 Governor Street is on your left.

I-64 East (From Charlottesville, Virginia)
In Richmond take exit 74B, Franklin St. Turn right on E. Franklin St., turn right on Governor St.; 102 Governor Street is on your left.

I-64 West (From Williamsburg, Virginia)
In Richmond take exit 190 on the left to I-95 South, take exit 74B, Franklin St. Turn right on E. Franklin St., turn right on Governor St.; 102 Governor Street is on your left.

Visitor Parking.  Due to construction, parking in Capitol Squre is not possible.  The closest public parking lot to our building is located at 13th and Main Streets. From this parking lot, walk up 13th Street toward the Capitol and when you cross over Bank Street you will be walking up Governor Street.

Directions to Our Conference Room


Enter the Oliver W. Hill Building (old Finance Building) at 102 Governor Street. You will be asked to sign in, provide a picture ID, and be given a visitor's pass.  Go through the glass doors at the security desk and take the elevator up to level 'L' (up one level from ground level to the upper ground level). When you reach the upper ground level, take a right off of the elevator and walk toward the rear of the building.  The Conference Room is located directly at the end of the hallway.

Directions to Staff Offices


Enter the Oliver W. Hill Building (old Finance Building) at 102 Governor Street. You will be asked to sign in, provide a picture ID, and be given a visitor's pass.  Go through the glass doors at the security desk and take the elevator up to level '1' (Up two levels from ground level to the first floor). When you reach the first floor, take a right and walk toward the rear of the building.   Staff offices are located to the left at the end of the tile hallway.


Fax Number: 804.371.0235

Delivery Address (UPS and Fed Ex):
Oliver W. Hill Building
102 Governor Street
Suite 120
Richmond, VA 23219

Mailing Address (U.S. Postal):
P.O. Box 710
Richmond, VA 23218-0710

About Constitutional Officers

Thomas Jefferson believed deeply that government works best when it is close to the people and ultimately responsible to them through the ballot box. In Virginia, the public elects not just its local, state and federal representatives but also its constitutional officers, so named because their offices are specifically established by the Constitution of Virginia. This system dates back to the earliest days of the nation and is based on the presumption that the most important services of government should be made directly accountable to the citizens by popular vote.

The Clerk of the Circuit Court serves an eight year term. All other officers serve four year terms.

Constitution of Virginia (1971)

County and city officers. - There shall be elected by the qualified voters of each county and city a treasurer, a sheriff, an attorney for the Commonwealth, a clerk, who shall be clerk of the court in the office of which deeds are recorded, and a commissioner of revenue. The duties and compensation of such officers shall be prescribed by general law or special act.

The General Assembly may provide for county or city officers or methods of their selection, including permission for two or more units of government to share the officers required by this section, without regard to the provisions of this section, either (1) by general law to become effective in any county or city when submitted to the qualified voters thereof in an election held for such purpose and approved by a majority of those voting thereon in each such county or city, or (2) by special act upon the request, made after such an election, of each county or city affected. No such law shall reduce the term of any person holding an office at the time the election is held. A county or city not required to have or to elect such officers prior to the effective date of this Constitution shall not be so required by this section.

The General Assembly may provide by general law or special act for additional officers and for the terms of their office.

The office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court dates from 1619. From those early days until the present, the Clerk's duties have changed significantly, but the office remains vitally important to the residents of each county and city.

The Code of Virginia lists over 800 separate responsibilities for the Clerk, many of which are highly complex and challenging. The Clerk serves as the recorder of deeds and probate judge, issues marriage licenses and is the official court administrator for all civil and criminal court cases. In this latter capacity, the Clerk creates and maintains all court files and records, prepares court orders and jury lists, contacts jurors and issues summons and court processes.

Circuit Court Clerks in Virginia perform duties that in many states are divided among three or four separate offices. In keeping with tradition, therefore, Virginia has saved its citizens significant tax dollars by combining judicial and administrative functions into a single office.

Commissioner of the Revenue Commissioners of the Revenue are the chief tax assessing officers in Virginia's cities and counties. They administer the assessments for businesses and individuals in the following areas:
  • Real estate taxes (in some cities and large suburban counties, assessors handle this function)
  • Personal property taxes
  • Business license fees
  • Consumer utility taxes
  • Machinery and tools taxes
  • Merchants capital taxes
  • Special taxes on meals, lodging and cigarettes

Commissioners also spend considerable time working on state income taxes, helping citizens complete their returns and performing initial processing prior to delivery of the forms to the State Department of Taxation.

Commonwealth's Attorney The Commonwealth's Attorney represents the people of Virginia in prosecuting criminal cases. The position is similar to that of the "District Attorney" in many other states. The Commonwealth's Attorney, elected by the people to a four year term, typically appoints one or more assistants to handle cases under his or her supervision.

All Commonwealth's Attorneys prosecute the most serious crimes, known as felonies, including murder, rape and robbery. In many jurisdictions, they also prosecute misdemeanors and violations of local ordinances, including traffic offenses.

In the largest counties and cities, Commonwealth's Attorneys serve as full-time prosecutors. In some smaller localities, they are paid a part-time salary and may maintain a private practice.

Commonwealth's Attorneys have numerous other duties and responsibilities as set forth in the Virginia Constitution and Virginia Code.

Sheriff The office of Sheriff began in colonial times and has continued as an important part of local government throughout Virginia's history. Initially, the Sheriff was not only the chief law enforcement officer, but also the election supervisor and tax collector. Today, the Sheriff's responsibilities cover a range of public safety functions that vary from locality to locality.

In most counties, sheriffs provide all law enforcement services, including investigating crimes, pursuing offenders and making arrests. (In cities and large suburban counties, police departments handle these functions.)

Sheriffs maintain local jails, housing from a handful to hundreds of offenders awaiting trial or serving short sentences, and by statute are represented on governing boards of all regional jails. The sheriff may also manage other local corrections programs and transport criminal defendants to and from corrections facilities.

All Virginia sheriffs provide security in local courthouses, serve legal papers throughout their jurisdictions, summon jurors and witnesses, and execute upon court judgments.

Sheriffs are assisted in their duties by deputy sheriffs, appointed by the principal officer.

Treasurer Virginia's city and county Treasurers are the chief financial officers for their localities, collecting taxes and local fees, and making payments on behalf of the local government. The Treasurer is responsible for every form of revenue which comes to his or her locality including:
  • Real estate taxes
  • Personal property taxes
  • License taxes
  • Water and sewage charges
  • Permit fees
  • State income tax
  • Court, Sheriff and Clerk fees

Treasurers also manage the investment of local funds and maintain records of local finances.

The elected post of Treasurer was created in the Virginia Constitution of 1870. The Treasurer's independent status as an elected official ensures that local funds will be collected, invested and spent by an officer who reports directly to the people.

Back to top

Questions Frequently Asked by Constitutional Officers

Do I have to advertise a vacant position, how long should the advertisement run, and what can I offer as a salary?
See 15.2-1604 for the Code of Virginia requirements.  The Code does not specify the length of time that you must advertise.  If you are not on a local pay plan, you should advertise the salary range of the grade of the vacant position.

How do I get a new position?
You should make your request in your annual Compensation Board budget submission.   The Board is limited by law to a specific number of positions available for allocation to Constitutional Officers.  When new positions become available, the Board is required to allocate them in priority order in accordance with workload based staffing standards.

When does the Compensation Board meet?
See the Training and Meeting Calendar.

My county/city budget has to be completed before I get my Compensation Board budget in May. Can I get the information sooner?
The Board cannot set constitutional officer budgets until the General Assembly reconvenes in April of each year. The Board meets in late April and final budgets are mailed on May 1.  However, the Compensation Board publishes budget estimates on our website 15 days after the adjournment of the General Assembly.

Can you send me job descriptions?
The Compensation Board does not maintain job descriptions of positions in the offices of constitutional officers. We can, however, provide you with a list of officers who have certified to the Board that they maintain job descriptions, and you may ask them for copies.

My secretary is on maternity leave, can I get emergency funding for a part time person?
You may request emergency funding by submitting a letter to the Compensation Board stating the hourly rate, length of time needed and justification, and the date on which the

What are the new December 1 salaries, and when will I get a pay scale and a list of the new salaries?
You may determine staff salaries effective December 1 by multiplying the current salary by 3.00% (4.82% for Sheriffs, Deputy Sheriffs and Regional Jail Correctional Officers).  New salary scales will be available on our website on or about November 17.

What is the cafeteria plan and can you give me the deductions?
Some local governments offer employees the opportunity to have insurance premiums or dependent care contributions deducted from their paycheck before taxes are taken out. Employees who have selected this option are participating in Section 125 or a "cafeteria plan".

Because these deductions are made pre-tax, the employee's taxable income is less than it would be otherwise.  As a result, you must enter the correct taxable salary amount on the SNIP permanent personnel screen.  The OASDI figure will be calculated based on the taxable salary entered.  Please contact your locality's payroll officer for correct deduction amounts.

Once you enter the monthly taxable salary (gross monthly salary minus monthly amount of cafeteria plan contributions) into SNIP, that figure should be pulled forward monthly until the next salary change or change in cafeteria amount occurs for that employee.   In this case, it is your responsibility to change the taxable salary amounts in the month that the change occurs.  (For example, taxable salaries should be changed on your December SNIP report when the December 1 increase is approved for the officer and staff.)

To illustrate how a change in the taxable salary is carried forward to the OASDI deduction by SNIP, an example in provided in your office specific section of the Operation Manual.

As a constitutional officer, are my staff members state or local employees?
They are neither. They are appointees of a locally elected constitutional officer and serve at the will and pleasure of that officer, concurrent with his or her term of office.

The May 1 Compensation Board approved budget set an amount in hourly wage funding for my office. My County budget approved a lesser amount. What can I do?
See Salaries.

Back to top

Questions Frequently Asked By The Media and Citizens of the Commonwealth

I filed for workers' compensation 2 months ago, and haven't heard from you.  What is the status of my claim?
We do not handle workers' compensation claims; you should call the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission at

I am not satisfied with the service I am receiving from one of my Constitutional Officers.  Can the Compensation Board help me?
No.  Our primary duty, as directed by the General Assembly and set out in the Code of Virginia, is to establish a fair and reasonable budget for the participation of the Commonwealth toward the total cost of office operations for Constitutional Officers.  We are a funding agency, and do not oversee or supervise elected Constitutional Officers.

What does the Compensation Board do?
Because state law requires that Constitutional Officers receive funding from both the state and local governments, our primary mission is to determine what constitutes the state's fair and reasonable share of Constitutional Officers' budgets.   We also reimburse local governments for the state's share of holding inmates in local jails and report bi-monthly on jail population (Tuesday Report), provide an annual report on the cost of operating all jails in the Commonwealth (Jail Cost Report), and an annual report on the efforts of Courts and Commonwealth's Attorneys to collect court ordered fines and Fees. (Fines and Fees Report).

How does the budget process work?
Each year, the General Assembly determines the total amount of funds and positions available to each group of Constitutional Officers, i.e., all Sheriffs, Commonwealth's Attorneys, Treasurers, Commissioners of the Revenue and Circuit Court Clerks.  Also on an annual basis (February 1 of each year), the Constitutional Officers submit their funding requests to the Compensation Board.  Once the General Assembly adjourns, and no changes are made at the Reconvened Session in April of each year and a budget hearing is held, the Compensation Board determines the budget for each individual Constitutional Officer and their locality. The approved Compensation Board budget is approved on May 1 of each year, effective the following July 1st.

Isn't May 1 a bit late to inform local governments of the amount of state funds they will be receiving from the Compensation Board?
Yes, but we are unable to actually approve a budget for them until after the General Assembly meets in the Reconvened Session (the "Veto" Session) in mid to late April.  In order to assist local governments and Constitutional Officers with budget planning, we provide Budget Estimates two weeks after the General Assembly adjourns from regular session.  Estimates are available each year in mid to late March.

What are the salaries of the Constitutional Officers in my county?
The appropriate source for that information is the county.  Our Salary Scales for Constitutional Officers will tell you the minimum amount that the county must pay the Constitutional Officers but local governments may pay a salary supplement to Sheriffs, Commonwealth's Attorneys, Treasurers, and Commissioners of the Revenue, and we do not have that information.

How does the Compensation Board determine what is a "fair and reasonable" budget?
Because nearly 95% of the Compensation Board's annual appropriation for Constitutional Officers is for staff salaries, the Compensation Board uses workload based Staffing Standards to determine the total number of positions that each office is due to perform duties mandated by state law.  These standards were developed by the Constitutional Officers associations, and adopted by the Compensation Board.  The Compensation Board is required by state law to adopt Staffing Standards and use them in allocating new positions.

What are the budgets for the Constitutional Officers in my county, and how many positions do they have?
The appropriate source for that information is the county.  Each local government has the discretion to approve a budget and positions for their Constitutional Officers that exceeds that approved by the Compensation Board.  We only have information on what we approve, which is usually less than the amount approved by their local government.

Will you mail me a copy of the Compensation Board approved budgets for all Constitutional Officers in my locality?
Upon receipt of your written request (mail, fax or e-mail) we will determine the direct costs associated with providing this information within five (5) workdays, and send you an invoice for that exact amount.  Upon receipt of your check or money order, we will mail you the information.

We often hear from our Constitutional Officers that they are "due" additional positions from the Compensation Board, but they were not provided.  Why is that?
We use the analogy that the Compensation Board is not the pie maker; we are the pie cutter.  If the General Assembly does not provide the Compensation Board with additional positions, we cannot allocate additional positions to Constitutional Officers, even if our staffing standards show that the office is due additional positions.

What recourse does a Constitutional Officer have if they do not get what they want from the Compensation Board in the budget process?
They have a number of alternatives.  The first alternative is for the Constitutional Officer to request reconsideration by the Compensation Board of their budget decision.   The Compensation Board has 651 individual budget requests to review between February 1 and May 1 of each year with a total staff of 25 employees.  Occasionally, a mistake is made, or a decision is rendered without the benefit of a full explanation of need by the Constitutional Officer. 

And if the Compensation Board confirms its original decision?
Unlike any other local government entity receiving state funds (e.g., police departments, local governments, school boards, etc.), Constitutional Officers have the right to file an appeal and request a three-judge panel to review and act upon the Compensation Board's budget decision.

How many appeals are filed each year?  How many actually go to court?
In FY00, two (2) appeals were filed, and none went to court.  In FY99, five (5) appeals were filed and none went to court.

Have the number of appeals increased or decreased over the past 15 years?
In 1986-87, 85 appeals were filed; in 1987-88, 65 appeals were filed.

Why the dramatic decrease?
There are two reasons.  First, the Constitutional Officers have a far greater understanding of the funding process, thanks to training and education, and the consistent use of workload based Staffing Standards by the Compensation Board to allocate positions.  They seem to recognize that the budget process is fair.  Secondly, state law changed in 1991 to require that any budget appeal filed by a Constitutional Officer must also be filed against the local government.

How many Constitutional Officers do you fund?
We provide funding for 120 Commonwealth's Attorneys, 120 Circuit Court Clerks, 123 Sheriffs, 129 Treasurers, and 128 Commissioners of the Revenue.  These 620 officers are all locally elected Constitutional Officers.  We also provide funding for 6 appointed Finance Directors who perform the duties of both a Commissioner of the Revenue and the Treasurer, 18 Regional Jails, and 7 Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Prosecutors.   In total, we review and approve 651 separate budgets, and reimburse these offices on a monthly basis.

How does the reimbursement process work?
The May 1 approved budgets tells the Constitutional Officer and local government how much we will reimburse them for salaries and other expenses, and our Operating Manual gives them the terms and conditions of our reimbursements.  The local government approves a budget for the Constitutional Officer, which in most every case is greater than the amounts approved by the Compensation Board.  After the Constitutional Officer approves the expenditures of the funds, and the local government certifies to us that the expenditure has been made, we reimburse the local government for the expenses in accordance with the terms and conditions in the Operating Manual.

Back to top

Phone: 804.786.0786
Fax: 804.371.0235

Contact us
Delivery Address
(UPS and Fed Ex):

102 Governor Street, Suite 120
1st Floor
Richmond, VA 23219
Mailing Address
(U.S. Postal):
P.O. Box 710
Richmond, VA 23218-0710
to our building

{ This site is best viewed using Internet Explorer 5.0 and above. }

Home | Board and Staff Directory | Restricted Access | Constitutional Officers Budgets and Salaries
Calendar and Meetings | Publications and Forms | FAQs | LIDS | Policies and Procedures
Land Records Technology | Links

Privacy & Security Policy | Site Map