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Northumberland board proposes 2¢ tax increase

by Madison White Franks 

HEATHSVILLE—The Northumberland Board of Supervisors held a public hearing about the proposed fiscal year 2018 budget of $38,999,007 which reflects a 2-cent increase in the current real estate tax rate.

Only a few citizens were present to show their support or concern for the proposed budget.

Susan Cabria indicated her concern about the proposed increase. “Will it be sufficient for fiscal year 2019?” she questioned the supervisors.

Ann Kloeckner of Legal Aid Services said that the county’s monetary support is important in their organization that provides free legal services in non-fee generating civil matters to those who cannot afford an attorney.

She said that the organization served 89 residents in Northumberland County during the fiscal year 2016-17.

Jeannie Nelson of the Northern Neck-Middlesex Free Health Clinic also said that the counties need to continue to support the clinic.

“The budget is the same as last year but we will do an additional $1 million in service,” said Nelson as she indicated that the Free Health Clinic is beginning to skyrocket with business again.

Projected revenues total $38,999,007, an increase from $36,708,417, including a beginning fund balance of $6,300,000, an increase from $5,145,748.

Projected revenue sources include $19,090,376 in property taxes based on the proposed tax rate, an increase from $18,383,251; $3,052,563 in other local sources, an increase from $2,915,527; and $10,556,068 in state and federal sources, an increase from $10,263,891.

Estimated expenditures by category total $32,746,969, an increase from $31,275,092 and the estimated ending fund balance is $6,252,038, an increase from $5,433,325 for a balanced budget of $38,999,007.

Estimated expenditures include $1,755,884 for general government administration, an increase from $1,644,339; $866,804 for judicial administration, an increase from $834,934; $4,697,043 for public safety, an increase from $4,266,143; $1,526,418 for public works, a decrease from $1,548,416; $2,654,968 for health and welfare, an increase from $2,519,913; $17,948,096 for education, an increase from $17,427,523; $258,263 for parks, recreation and culture, an increase from $193,263; $396,653 for community development, an increase from $381,808; and $2,642,839 for non-departmental spending, an increase from $2,458,753.

Supervisors are proposing a real estate tax rate of $0.56 cents per $100 of assessed value; a personal property tax rate of $3.60 at 40% of assessed value; machinery and tools tax of $3.60 at a 25% assessment ratio of original cost the first year and $3.60 at a 10% original cost the second year; and a merchants capital tax of $1 at 50% of assessed value of original cost.

Supervisors have yet to set a date to vote on the proposed budget which will become effective July 1, 2017, and continue through June 30, 2018.

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