By Tia Lynn Ivey
The Morgan County Board of Commissioners (BOC) officially adopted the FY 2018 budget at the last regular meeting on Tuesday, June 20.
“We present to you a balanced budget,” said Adam Mestres, county manager.
The BOC unanimously approved the budget, which totals over $25.5 million, and is a $2.8 million increase from last year’s budget. The total general fund for the proposed budget comes in at nearly $17.3 million, which is a $672,836 increase from last year’s general fund.
The commissioners do not anticipate raising property taxes despite the budget’s increase, promising to keep the millage rate flat this year. While the commissioners will not raise property taxes, they will also not lower taxes, opting to forego the rollback rate.
“We are recommending the millage rate stay as it is—to stay flat this year,” said Adam Mestres, county manager last month.
During budget presentations leading up to the vote last Tuesday, county staff cited a downward trend in sales tax revenue coupled with overdue capital-needs projects for the budgeted expense increases and recommendation to keep the millage rate at its current level, 11.149, forgoing the rollback rate for the coming year.
According to county officials, whether or not property owners’ tax bills increase will depend on whether or not their property values increased from last year, but won’t increase due to the millage rate.
“As we continue to bounce back in the economy…values of property goes up,” explained Mestres.