Three-cent tax hike proposed in Charles City
A 3 cent hike in real estate taxes is expected to highlight a draft 2010-11 fiscal year budget scheduled for unveiling before Charles City’s Board of Supervisors next Tuesday night (March 23).
During a Monday work session, supervisors instructed County Administrator Jack Miniclier to advertise in local newspapers the rate increase along with an overall $21 million budget package for next year.
Currently, the real estate tax rate in Charles City stands at 82 cents per $100 of assessed value. A recent reassessment, however, resulted in an equalized rate of 67 cents. The recommended 3-cent increase would establish next year’s rate at 70 cents.
One cent of the tax hike is designated for emergency medical services, Miniclier said on Tuesday.
“The other two cents are for flexibility based on trying to understand what the state is doing to us,” he said.
County officials are dealing with a revenue shortfall approaching $1 million, Miniclier said. To alleviate part of the shortfall, the county is digging into its fund balance to the tune of $446,000. The remaining $554,000 is to be made up through budget cuts split evenly ($277,000 each) between the county and schools.
Thus the overall news is not good for Charles City schools. Last week, school officials asked the county’s Board of Supervisors to kick in $167,312 additional dollars above what they anticipated to be level funding ($5.7 million) coming from the county next year. The extra money would have closed a revenue/expense gap that exists in schools’ proposed $12 million fiscal 2010-11 budget.
At Tuesday’s School Board meeting, school superintendent Janet Crawley announced that the General Assembly’s budget passed last Sunday reduces schools’ state funding by $177,872. Coupled with the $277,000 cut imposed by the county and the $167,312 in extra local money not coming their way, school officials are now faced with cutting $622,184 from their $12 million budget proposal.
School Board members have scheduled a March 25 work session to discuss further cuts.
Miniclier, meanwhile, said the county is not anticipating job eliminations or pay cuts.
A public hearing on the overall county budget is scheduled for April 19.