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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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Impact of state budget on county still unclear

Monday, June 23, 2014

By CHARLES BOOTHE - Staff Writer

Franklin County officials are still in a quandary about how much funding to expect from the state.

Legislators have approved a biennial budget and Gov. Terry McAuliffe had until Sunday to sign it.

County Administrator Rick Huff told the board of supervisors Tuesday that it is still unclear how the state's projected $1.5 billion shortfall over the next two years will be made up.

"We don't know at this point how this well affect us," he said.

According to state Sen. Bill Stanley, the state faces revenue shortfalls that may exceed $1.5 billion over the next two years.

The budget that has been approved by the General Assembly reduces or eliminates most new spending, but it keeps funding for localities at current levels, Stanley said.

State funding for Constitutional Offices has seen a gradual, but significant, decline in recent years, leaving localities to make up the difference, Huff told the board.

Finance Director Vince Copenhaver explained how any delays in receiving state and federal funding would impact the county.

If projected state and federal funds are not received, the county would see its general fund balance drop to only about $3 million by Aug. 31, Copenhaver.

On a positive note, sales tax revenue has rebounded, he said. That revenue has been down much of the year, compared to last year.

But in recent months, the revenue has increased, Copenhaver said. The latest updated figure for the total sales tax revenue for the county this fiscal year shows $4,047,561, compared to $4,048,070 at the same time last year, only a slight difference.

Local sales tax revenues have been "all over the place," Copenhaver said, which can make predictions very difficult.

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