Bertie budget approved

Published 8:30 am Monday, June 24, 2019

WINDSOR – Bertie County Commissioners reconvened here on Tuesday morning and unanimously approved the FY 2019-2010 county budget.

As previously presented by County Manager Scott Sauer on June 3, the then-draft budget came to nearly $26.2 million for the General Fund. After a public hearing on June 10, the budget for the next fiscal year running July 1, 2019-to-June 30, 2020, Sauer reported the new budget would include a 3.5 cent increase in the ad valorem tax rate from the previous year for county residents. The increase brings the rate to $0.865 cents per $100 of assessed value from the previous $.83 cents.

Originally, Sauer submitted a proposed budget that call for a proposed tax hike of nine cents, but the Commissioners worked through that proposal and made adjustments that reduced the original proposition down by $711,000 to $25.49 million, thus reducing the proposed tax hike from nine cents to 3.5 cents.

Among the highlights, the budget contains a three percent cost-of-living adjustment for all county employees; a three percent annual contribution to the 401-K of non-law enforcement employees; and an annual $200 contribution to county employees’ health savings account.

“The biggest driver of the budget is staffing for personnel,” Sauer noted.

The majority of the county’s revenue ($25.49 million) is expected to come from ad valorem taxes, totaling $9,701,943. Other major sources of revenue are expected to be Transfers from School Capital Reserve ($2.5 million), Landfill Fees ($1.9 million), Fund Balance Appropriation ($1.73 million), and Motor Vehicle Taxes ($1.37 million).

As for budget expenditures, the departments which will receive the most funding will be the Sheriff’s Office, Bertie County Schools, Emergency Medical Services, and Non-Emergency Transport.

The Sheriff’s Office was allotted $3,093,146, Bertie County Schools will receive $3,027,671; EMS ($2,727,460); Non-Emergency Transport ($1.19 million); and Buildings and Grounds ($869,586).

The ad valorem property tax is based on property values of $1.3 billion ($1.157 billion in real and personal property and public utilities).

The county’s collection rate, as of its 2017-2018 audit, was an outstanding 96.9 percent on personal property and public utilities and a 100 percent collection rate for motor vehicles.