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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

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Tax hikes sent to public hearing
Supervisors vote to move forward with proposed budget

Friday, March 21, 2014

By CHARLES BOOTHE - Staff Writer

The Franklin County tax and fee increases recommended to the board of supervisors Tuesday will move on to a public hearing.

During the board's afternoon meeting Tuesday, county Administrator Rick Huff presented the proposed county budget for fiscal year 2014-15, which included a 2-cent real estate and 2-cent personal property tax increase, as well as a hike in the vehicle license fee from $25 to $34.25.

All of the those increases would produce an extra $1.8 million. Of that total, the county would receive $635,000, the schools $635,000 (from the real estate tax), and the money raised from the personal property tax and vehicle license fee increases (about $600,000) would be set aside for upcoming large capital projects.

With the extra money, the county will be able to cover its state mandates, Huff said, and the schools can cover their mandates and other money required to receive state funds for programs.

At the afternoon meeting, three supervisors said they supported the tax and fee increases, but the issue was not discussed any further because the meeting was running behind schedule and other topics needed to be addressed.

Board Chairman David Cundiff said the board would continue the budget discussion after Tuesday night's public hearing. At that time, the board voted unanimously to send the proposed tax and fee increases to a public hearing on April 15.

At that public hearing, the board can leave the tax hikes as they are or lower them, but they cannot be raised any higher.

The total proposed budget for next year is $129.6 million, a $5.3 million increase over the current year's budget. The rest of that increase is the result of more state money for education and a projected increase in local revenue of about $1.2 million.

Huff said the proposed real estate tax increase would add about $32 a year to the bill on a house assessed at $164,000, which is the county average. The personal property tax increase would add $4 a year on two cars, for example, with a total assessed value of $20,000. The increase in the vehicle license fee would cost another $18.50 a year for each vehicle.

The total increase using these figures would be about $55 a year, or less than $5 a month.

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