BOS votes to cut millage rate, provide free garbage service to senior citizens
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Decisions come with expectation of influx of new tax revenues
From Staff Reports
Thanks to the expectation of a little extra revenue in the kitty this coming year, members of the Greene County Board of Supervisors have agreed to pass along a little savings to local taxpayers, particularly those living on fixed incomes.
Supervisors have voted to decrease the millage rate for county tax purposes by 1.75 mills for Fiscal Year 2020, which begins Oct. 1. The move should give local property owners a small break on their upcoming tax bill, assuming the value of the property being taxed has not increased over the past year.
“The decision to not increase the ad valorem tax millage rate for fiscal year 2020 above the current fiscal year’s ad valorem tax millage rate means you will not pay more in ad valorem taxes on your home, automobile tag, utilities, business fixtures and equipment and rental real property, unless the assessed value of your property has increased for fiscal year 2019,” supervisors said in a statement announcing the proposed budget revenue for the next fiscal year. That statement is part of a public notice supervisors are required to publish announcing the required public hearing on the matter.
Supervisors have set the public hearing on their proposed budget and tax levies for Monday, Sept. 16, 2019 at 9 a.m. at the board office.
Along with the tax cut, roughly 1,400 customers of the Greene County Waste System will be getting a big break in the new fiscal year. According to Dist. 4 Supervisor Wayne Barrow, supervisors have voted to provide garbage collection services to property owners age 65-and-older and those with permanent disabilities at no charge. Supervisors solidified the move Tuesday at their regular September meeting. It is unclear what the total cost of the new initiative will be, but board members allocated a second mill of tax funding to the Waste Department to offset the revenues that would have been generated via the program’s senior citizen rate, which was already discounted off the regular rate of $12 per month per household.
Barrow said the move was one he and other supervisors had wanted to make for some time, but had been unable to act on due to budget constraints. More details on the plan and how residents should apply will be forthcoming.
Even with the planned cut in tax millage, the total projected revenues for the county this coming fiscal year is jumping from $8.4-million to $10.2-million due primarily to the expiration of 10-year tax abatement agreements with companies in the energy sector, such as Plains All American, which owns and operates the Southern Pines Energy Center (natural gas storage facility) on Tung Oil Road.
In other business from the board’s meeting the last week of August, supervisors heard from county engineer Jason Lamb concerning planned repairs to Knobtown Road in Dist. 2. The road has been in a state of deterioration, and Dist. 2 Supervisor Morris Hill said he would like to see the repairs to the road completed before winter sets in to cause more damage.
Lamb informed the board that this project falls under the State Aid program and that the county has used up the majority of its funds from state aid for this year’s board term. The project totals approximately $360,000. State aid funds will cover $290,000, leaving $70,000 uncovered. Hill said he would put forth $35,400 to help cover the cost of repairs, and $33,000 will come from state aid funds that will be received by the county in the months of
August through October. Hill said using district funds will ensure there are no delays on beginning the road work.