The Franklin News-Post|
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
|No tax hikes included|
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
By CHARLES BOOTHE - Staff Writer
A recommended budget for fiscal year 2013-14 for Franklin County was unveiled Tuesday afternoon, and no tax hikes are included.
County Administrator Rick Huff presented the recommended $124 million budget to the board of supervisors, about $3 million more than for the current fiscal year.
Some of the increase is from more federal and state funding, but most, just over $2 million, is from new local revenue.
Of that expected increase in local funding, a little more than $1 million would go to county schools and about $950,000 would go to county government, some of which is earmarked for a 3-percent pay raise for county employees. More than $500,000 is set aside for the operational expenses of both county landfills.
County Finance Director Vincent Copenhaver said the extra $2 million will be from a projected increase in real estate, personal property and sales tax revenue.
It's a budget that allows the county to "live within our means," Huff said, basically maintaining level funding, plus the added revenue.
Local funding to schools, with the extra $1 million, would be $31.5 million, which is an increase of 4 percent above the current year, Huff said.
Schools would receive about 64 percent of the total budget, or $78.9 million.
However, that is still about $3 million less in operating funds than what the school system's proposed budget includes, and more than $1 million less in requested capital funding.
Schools have asked for a total of $82.9 million with the extra operating funding for avoiding any layoffs, giving employees at least a 2.5-percent pay raise, hiring needed staff and investing in technology.
Any more funding beyond what is in the recommended county budget, supervisors have said, would require a tax increase.
One fee increase is included in the recommended budget, a $6 increase in the tipping fee at the landfill to help offset the expense of operating two landfills.
Huff told the board the recommended budget focused on priorities that have been set by the board, and funding for "numerous requests for new (county) positions" and other county needs is not included.
"We didn't come close to funding all requests," he added.
"The budget is about choices, the budget is about making decisions," Huff said.
Supervisors made no decision on the recommended budget and made few comments. A work session on the budget, as well as on VDOT's six-year roads plan, is set for 2 p.m. on Monday, March 25.
Supervisors set a joint budget meeting with the school board at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26 at The Franklin Center.