Page’s fiscal 2017 budget decreases spending by 2.3 percent; raises tax rate by 2 cents

Page News and Courier

LURAY, May 3 ― The county will decrease its spending by about $1.4 million in the coming fiscal year, and local homeowners will see a 2-cent hike in real estate tax. The Page County Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted the fiscal 2017 spending plan during its work session Tuesday night.

Overall, the county's $61.65 million budget ― including schools ― decreases spending by about 2.3 percent from the current $63.1 million budget.

The upcoming spending plan is based on level funding or decreased spending by most county departments, according to Page County Administrator Amity Moler.

Moler added that if a department increased its budget, it was due chiefly to health insurance expenses.

Supervisors also adopted Page County Public Schools' fiscal 2017 budget on Tuesday. The local school system will increase its operating spending by about 0.3 percent (or $129,923).

Page County will up its contribution to the local school division by about 1.2 percent ( or $161,618) ― from $13.6 million to about $13.8.

The county's real estate tax rate will increase from 64 cents for every $100 of assessed value to 66 cents beginning in calendar year 2016. Each penny in the rate generates $200,000 in revenue for the county, according to Page County Administrator Amity Moler. Supervisors adopted the rate during their April 21 meeting, following tax levy and budget public hearings that collectively drew four speakers.

The personal property tax rate will remain the same ― $4.64 per $100 of assessed value. Machinery and tools and motor carrier taxes will also stay the same ― $2 per $100 of assessed value.
Included in the upcoming budget is a 2-percent pay raise for all county employees totaling $114,647, the bulk of which is state funded. The county will pay $53,129 toward the raise.

School employees will also see a 2-percent pay increase totaling $412,084 ― of which $159,000 will be paid by the state in the first year. The local school system must match the state's contribution with $253,084.

Included in the county's fiscal 2017 budget is about $2.6 million for Social Services' operating budget, of which Page County will contribute $469,571.

Although the county's Comprehensive Services Act budget reflects an increase of more than $600,000 (or about 73 percent), the county will contribute $433,091 to the $1.4 million CSA spending plan.

The county's debt service is projected to increase by more than $460,000 in fiscal 2017, due chiefly to construction and equipment replacement costs at the Battle Creek Landfill. Construction of Cell 10 at the county's landfill off Route 340 is slated to begin in the coming fiscal year.

The new spending plan takes effect on July 1.

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