July 3rd , 2013 10:00 am Leave a comment

Carter County committee backs 25-cent tax rate increase

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The Carter County Budget Committee backed away from a decision last week to slash every county office’s budget, voting instead to selectively cut spending and increase the property tax rate by 25 cents.

Photo by Danny DavisHealth Department Director Caroline Hurt discusses the county’s contribution to the Carter County Health Department’s budget during Tuesday night’s meeting. Hurt explained that, of the county’s $169,000 contribution, only $115,200 goes toward her office’s operating costs.

Photo by Danny Davis
Health Department Director Caroline Hurt discusses the county’s contribution to the Carter County Health Department’s budget during Tuesday night’s meeting. Hurt explained that, of the county’s $169,000 contribution, only $115,200 goes toward her office’s operating costs.

On Tuesday night, the committee voted 5-2, with one abstaining, in favor of the increase, which will add 15 cents to the General Fund tax, and 10 cents to the Debt Service Fund tax, putting the county’s property tax rate at $2.40.

The budget must be approved by the full county commission before becoming official.

Although the decision reduced an earlier decision to increase the Debt Service tax by 15 cents, Finance Director Ingrid Deloach said after the meeting that next year’s budget would still require the additional 5 cents for Debt Service.

“They’ll be faced with putting that increase on again,” Deloach said. “If they did 15 cents, they would be balanced next year, with a note coming off. Now that they just did 10, they’ll have to have a 5-cent increase just to get Debt Service balanced.”

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