Property tax rate unchanged

Published 10:13 am Wednesday, June 27, 2012

GATESVILLE – While Gates County’s overall budget for the new fiscal year is slightly higher than originally calculated, one thing remains the same.

County citizens will see the same rate for property taxes as that figure remains at 64 cents (per $100 of value) following the approval of the fiscal year 2012-13 budget by the board of commissioners at their June 15 meeting.

The General Fund portion of the approved budget is $180,814 higher than what County Manager Toby Chappell proposed to the commissioners back on May 2. At that time the General Fund budget was $10,753,557. The final numbers approved on June 15 were $10,934,096.

The General Fund uses $394,096 of appropriated fund balance, roughly $9,500 more than what was moved from that fund to balance the current year budget.

More than one-half of the new General Fund budget will come from ad valorem taxes ($5.67 million). The county’s share of state sales tax ($1.15 million) also adds to the General Fund’s bottom line, as does $2.13 million in grants and reimbursements.

Gates County will also receive $632,000 in Medicaid Hold Harmless funds.

By adding the revenues generated from the Water and Sewer Fund ($1.05 million), Solid Waste Fund ($773,000), Fire Protection Fund ($260,000), Homeland Security Grant ($219,369), E-911 System ($109,310), Tax Reval Reserve Fund ($33,750), USDA Reserve Fund ($11,235) and Register of Deeds Automation ($4,940), the total budget (all funds) is $13,391,975.

On the expenditure side, Gates County Public Schools lost $100,000 in local current expense (the approved budget number was $2,592,079 compared to the $2,692,079 Chappell proposed in May). The school system’s capital outlay of $100,000 was unchanged.

Other county departments also saw their funding cut, to include Elections (approved at $94,064; proposed at $99,064), Zoning & Planning (approved at $111,472; proposed at $121,472), DSS Special Assistance (approved at $82,926; proposed at $84,278), and Jail Services (approved at $220,000; proposed at $230,000).

Meanwhile, several county departments saw an increase in their appropriations. The Sheriff’s Office gained roughly $20,000 as their budget increased to $841,408 from the $821,493 that was proposed. The county doubled its share (from $25,000 to $50,000) of appropriation to the Tri-County Animal Shelter.

The Social Services Administration received the biggest increase over what was originally proposed. In May, Chappell penciled in $1,185,606 for that department. However, the final budget number was nearly $40,000 more ($1,224,829). DSS-TANF, which was originally slated to receive zero funding, was approved at $4,000.

The board also opted to fund $32,831 for the Juvenile Crime Prevention Grant. That funding was at zero in the May proposal.

Special appropriations increased to $45,810 (from $40,810). Additionally, the commissioners approved $150,000 of general fund reserves.

Other departmental funding (with no changes from the original proposal) included the following:

Governing Body – $233,240

Administration – $322,579

Tax Department – $263,910

Register of Deeds – $117,900

Buildings & Grounds – $386,872

Communications – $201,825

Emergency Management – $78,067

Inspections – $130,083

Ambulance/Rescue – $25,000

GITS – $597,166

Forestry – $64,790

Cooperative Extension – $148,126

Soil Conservation – $89,257

Health – $118,500

Mental Health – $39,734

Child Day Care – $302,920

Community Colleges – $16,000

Library – $95,000

Recreation – $268,023

Debt Service – $1,561,504

The new budget is effective July 1 and includes a meritorious raise of up to two percent for all permanent county employees (full and part-time).

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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