Hearing tonight on Mathews budget
A public hearing on the proposed fiscal year 2014-2015 Mathews County budget will be held at 7 o’clock tonight in the historic courthouse.
The $24,018,000 proposed budget represents an increase of approximately .33 percent over the current budget of $23,939,133, and supervisors propose paying for the increase by adding 7 cents to the real estate tax rate and 5 cents to the personal property tax rate.
If enacted, this would raise the real estate tax rate from 47 cents to 53 cents per $100 of assessed value and the personal property tax rate from $3.65 to $3.70 per $100 of assessed value.
The county’s operational budget (which excludes schools and Social Services) would decrease by approximately 7.65 percent, from $9,477,620 to $8,752,841, largely because of completed capital projects, while the budget for the school system would increase approximately 5.88 percent, from $12,793,180 to $13,545,395, due largely to state mandated increases in retirement system and insurance payments. The local portion required of the total $752,215 increase in the school system budget is $472,772.
Increases in both budgets include employee raises—2 percent for county employees and 1 percent plus step for school system employees. In addition, the budget includes additional funds to partially pay for upgraded communications equipment for fire and rescue services, a part-time maintenance position in the building official’s office, and two new chillers for the heating and air conditioning system at the high school.
The budget for Social Services is currently expected to increase by around 3.1 percent, from $1,668,333 to $1,719,764. However, County Administrator Mindy Moran said in her budget report that those figures are not final and that more money may be coming from the state.
The budget includes no new capital outlays, although work will continue on current capital projects such as Mathews Main Street revitalization, New Point Comfort Lighthouse restoration, home elevations, and water access and drainage improvements.