Supervisors adopt operating budget

Published 10:17 am Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Charlotte County Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted its fiscal year (FY) 2017-18 consolidated budget during Tuesday’s monthly meeting — one that totals more than $51.5 million in estimated revenue and expenditures.

No tax or fee increases are included in the adopted budget, which begins July 1.

The adopted budget includes estimated revenues from the general fund of $21 million; library fund, $216,000; school fund, $24.3 million; Comprehensive Services fund, $1 million; Virginia Public Assistance fund, $2.5 million; capital project fund, $11.5 million and Virginia Workforce Investment Board Area 8, $2.4 million.

Estimated local revenues in the budget total $11 million for the general fund, library fund, $210,000; school fund, $3.8 million, Comprehensive Services fund, $277,000; and Virginia Public Assistance fund, $463,000.

The upcoming fiscal year budget includes slight increases in all areas with the exception of the Virginia Workforce Investment Board Area 8.

The largest increase is in the general fund of $7.3 million. More than $7.1 million of that money will be transferred from the general fund balance, according to the adopted 2017-18 budget.

The school fund — which totals $24 million — contains about $3.8 million in local revenue, representing a slight increase from the current fiscal year’s budget.

“As a board of supervisors member, I want to make sure we’re spending the taxpayer’s money wisely and keep tax increases to a minimum or rather no tax increase at all,” Drakes Branch Supervisor Garland H. Hamlett Jr. said previously regarding the budget.

In addition to approving the 2017-18 proposed budget, supervisors also unanimously voted to keep tax levies at their current rates.

“To my understanding, they’re all exactly the same as they were in the current year,” said County Seat Supervisor and Board Chairman Gary Walker.

Tax levies for 2017-18 will remain at 53 cents per $100 of assessed value for real estate and mobile homes, $3.75 per $100 of assessed value for personal property, $3 per $100 assessed value for machinery and tools and $3.20 per $100 assessed value for merchant’s capital.

Additionally, the license registration fee will remain at $25, based on information from the county administrator’s office.

The current fiscal year’s budget totals about $39 million.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, Scuffletown resident Ludy Collie said she had spoken to many who live the county recently regarding personal finances.

“These are people struggling to make ends meet and pay taxes with whatever little savings they can,” she told county supervisors. “When it became known to them that the county is paying $630 per month, per supervisor, for hospital, life, dental and vision insurance, of course they became very upset and disappointed that the people they elected could treat them this way,” Collie said.

Only two citizens spoke during the boards’ public hearing in late April — one intended to solicit comment regarding the then-proposed budget for the upcoming year.

Charlotte Court House resident Terry Ramsey said more disclosure was needed based on what he termed the vague figures provided.

“For example, in the advertised budget, only a single $11.5 million total revenue and expenditure figure is provided for the Capital Project Fund,” Ramsey said during the hearing. “No detail is provided on the proposed use of the money. That’s a lot of money to spend without explanation.”

Wylliesburg resident Kay Pierantoni agreed that a breakdown of amounts should be included within the budget.

“From that worksheet, I see that you have budgeted $8,500 for your travel and education and $1,500 for your meals,” she said in late April.