Tax hike considered in Mathews
Mathews supervisors are considering an increase of 7 cents in the county’s real estate rate, as well as adding 5 cents to the personal property rate, following last Wednesday’s work session on the 2014-2015 budget.
A public hearing on the proposed budget, and another to set the tax rates for the coming year, will be held at 7 p.m. next Thursday, April 17, in the historic courthouse.
The proposed increases would boost the real estate levy from 47 cents to 54 cents per $100 of assessed value, and from $3.65 to $3.70 per $100 for personal property. All other tax rates would remain the same.
The proposed total county budget is $24,018,000, an approximately 1 percent increase over the current fiscal budget of $23,939,133, while the proposed county operational budget (which excludes schools and Social Services) is $8,752,841, representing nearly a 1 percent decrease from the current budget of $9,477,620.
The decrease in the operational budget is largely due to a decrease in the capital budget attributable to completion of the Fort Nonsense project and the current round of home elevation projects, according to a press release from County Administrator Mindy Moran. Last year’s capital budget was $2,438,627, while this year’s is $1,385,000.
The school portion of the proposed 2014-2015 budget is $13,545,395, an increase of $691,427 over the current budget. The increase includes salary increases totaling $204,859 for school employees (1 percent plus step), an additional $20,550 in debt service the county has incurred to replace the chillers at the high school, and increased mandated costs for retirement and insurance for school employees.
If approved, the budget will also include a 2 percent raise for county employees.
During last Wednesday’s budget work session, which was held in the historic courthouse, newly-elected supervisor Jack White made the motion to advertise the increased rates, and Janine Burns seconded it. Chairman Charles Ingram and vice chair O.J. Cole voted for the motion, as well. Supervisor Edwina Casey was absent.
“Nobody’s going to be thrilled,” said Burns.