Mathews board approves $23.6M budget
The Mathews County Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted a $23.6 million budget for FY 2018 during Tuesday’s April meeting. Board members also unanimously approved a real estate tax rate of 57.5 cents per $100 in value to support the budget.
In calling for a motion, chairman Jack White said that the budget process this year had been “very painful for all of us.” While the equalized tax rate was 2.13 cents per $100 of assessed value, he said, the adopted tax rate includes an actual increase of 1.37 cents per $100, for a total increase of 3.5 cents.
When the board voted for a 7 cents per $100 increase in taxes four years ago, said White, “I thought we had anticipated everything that would occur in this four-year cycle.” But unfunded mandates, increases in health care costs, and an increased retirement burden had eaten away the extra, he said.
White said the board had also recently asked the voters to approve a meals tax.
“I know it’s hard on all of us to yet again increase taxes,” he said, “that’ll be 10.5 cents in four years.”
White said that taxes have an impact on citizens, who can have trouble coming up with an increase. Even renters are impacted, he said, because their rent can rise. But there have been expenditures that had to be made, he said, and “we have to provide for our employees and for those who are providing services to us.”
White said the board had done its best.
After the motion passed, White said that he had heard a lot of sincere people speak at the April 17 public hearing on the budget and that he was sorry they hadn’t attended an earlier meeting on the budget.
“I certainly heard and was moved by that,” he said. “I do think some of us were persuaded, but we had already advertised the tax rate and kind of hemmed ourselves in as to what our ability would be.”
White then called for a motion to pass the budget, which was passed unanimously.