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Commissioners decide to maintain current tax rate during budget retreat

The Stanly County Board of Commissioners discussed budget priorities during their retreat Friday at the Stanly County Airport.

The biggest budget priorities to the seven-person body were public safety, economic development, senior services, education (both K-12 and Stanly Community College) and taxes.

The commissioners decided to vote on whether to lower the property tax rate from 67 cents to 66 cents per $100 valuation for the year. Vice Chairman Ashley Morgan proposed the idea of cutting the tax rate.

“I feel we have a commitment to our citizens to be fiscally responsible with our tax dollars,” Morgan said.“I feel a one-cent tax cut is fair and responsible as it doesn’t put us as a county in a bind. I think it’s time we actually took the initiative and find ways to lessen the tax burden on our citizens.”

Ultimately, a majority of commissioners voted to maintain the current tax rate.

“I agree with Commissioners Morgan and [Mike] Barbee that lowering the tax rate is feasible and within our reach,” said chairman Matthew Swain, “but in my opinion this is not the year.”

Commissioner Tommy Jordan made the motion to approve $130,000 from the general fund to upgrade the LED lighting system in the Stanly County Agri-Civic Center.

He said that besides safety, the current lights are more than 25 years old, they make the stage too hot and cost too much to operate.

The motion to upgrade the lighting system unanimously passed.

The commissioners also voted for their top four capital projects for the upcoming fiscal year.

The projects that were deemed highest priority were replacing and updating the north end roof of the Stanly Commons building, updating the Agri-Civic Center lighting system and expanding what will be the East Side EMS base to include emergency management administrative offices and a new 911 center.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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