PE Advertises County Budget

Published 3:47 pm Thursday, April 5, 2012

PRINCE EDWARD – County supervisors, following a work session Tuesday that included weighing through a long list of funding requests, agreed to advertise a budget that factors $50 million in total County operations.

The public hearing, set for April 17, however, may be a quiet one. The board did not choose to advertise a proposed tax increase, essentially-barring a re-advertisement of rates-meaning there will not be one this year.

The County's levy for real estate, as proposed, would stay at 42 cents per $100 of assessed value, the personal property rate for motor vehicles, business furniture and fixture and heavy equipment would stay at $4.50 per $100 of assessed value, the machinery and tools rate would stay at $4.20 per $100 of assessed value, and the merchant's capital levy would stay at 70 cents per $100 of assessed value. (There is no levy for farm machinery and livestock).

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The advertisement of the rate also explains how assessments are determined. The value used for motor vehicles, for example, is based on the loan value using NADA guide; business furniture and fixtures are factored using 20 percent of the original cost; machinery and tools values factor 10 percent of the original cost.

While specific figures and funding could change in the final budget, County Administrator Wade Bartlett-who had earlier presented his budget recommendations to supervisors-developed a budget that factored a 3.6 percent cost of living adjustment for County workers, totaled $42,062,514 when deducting transfers between funds; factors $8,106,562 transfer to the county's schools; anticipates the public works department assuming vehicle maintenance responsibility in the coming fiscal year and reclassifies the building and grounds supervisor to the public works director and increasing the position to grade 21 and step five with a salary of $56,165; includes $30,000 to replace aging computers and printers, $60,000 to purchase two vehicles for the County sheriff, and $60,000 to purchase vehicles for County administration and requires the use of some fund balances.

He suggested that they use $416,003 from the fund balance of the General Fund and, after deducting the non-cash depreciation expense, $244,039 from the water fund and $93,106 from the sewer fund-or a total of $753,148.

That, the county administrator also suggested, can be funded from the increase in the current fund balance.