Stanly budget maintains tax rate at 67 cents

Published 12:30 am Tuesday, May 14, 2019

For the 13th consecutive year, Stanly County residents will not see a tax increase if the proposed county budget passes.

The Stanly County 2019-2020 proposed annual budget recommends the property tax rate remain at 67 cents per $100 valuation.

“We have one of the lower tax burdens and lower tax rates in our region,” said County Manager Andy Lucas.

The total proposed budget is at $67.6 million, an increase of five percent compared to last fiscal year’s adopted budget.

Though the different departments collectively requested a budget of around $78.6 million, Lucas said the property tax rate would have to increase 22 cents for the requested budget to be possible.

Stanly County Schools received a total of $16.2 million, an increase from $14.6 million for the last year’s budget.

The total capital outlay for SCS was $3.1 million.

The per pupil county dollar funding rate for fiscal year 2019-2020 is $1,456, an increase of $125.

The additional quarter cent sales tax is projected to generate $1.5 million in the fiscal year 2019-2020.

Including Stanly Community College, $18.3 million was proposed for education services, accounting or 27 percent of the total budget. The county is funding roughly $17.7 million of the total.

“It’s not what we originally asked for,” said Superintendent Dr. Jeff James, “but any increase in the budget is good news.”

The Stanly County School Board presented the commissioners with their own proposed school budget in April, with the ambitious school budget totaling almost $23.7 million.

Besides education, the other major expenditures include health and human services, which received $16.8 million, and public safety, which received $16.3 million.

Education services, health and human services and public safety accounted for about $51.5 million, or 76 percent of the total budget.

The bulk of general fund revenue is composed of ad valorem taxes, which accounts for 49.6 percent, and sales tax, which accounts for 17.4 percent.

With the property tax rate proposed to remain at 67 cents, the average household pays almost $1,400 a year, or $116 a month. Of the monthly $116, $35.56 goes to SCS, $16.78 to public safety and $11.92 to emergency services.

The proposed budget also has a 2.5 percent cost of living adjustment for county employees effective July 1.

There are several capital investments recommended in the General Fund, including $462,602 to replace two high mileage ambulances, $304,600 to purchase 13 new Sheriff’s Office vehicles and $222,600 to replace one light transit vehicle, one minivan and two high roof vans, among others.

Three major projects for the upcoming fiscal year include constructing a new EMS base, which will cost an estimated $2 million; constructing a new emergency radio tower, which will cost an estimated $1.16 million; and renovating the West Stanly Wastewater Treatment Plant, which will cost an estimated $4 million.

There will be a public hearing for the proposed budget at 6 p.m. June 10.

The budget is available online, at local libraries and at the county office.

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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