Couty budget holds tax rate steady

Budget generates little comment
May. 30, 2013 @ 02:29 PM

Little discussion ensued at the May 28 Davidson County Commissioners over the $152 million proposed budget — a budget which maintains the property tax rate at 54 cents per $100 valuation.

"Anytime you don't have a tax rate increase, there seems to be little conversation about the budget," said Fred McClure, chairman of the Board.

A total of $37 million from the budget is allocated for Davidson County Schools,  Thomasville City Schools and Lexington City Schools, as well as Davidson County Community College.

The most notable absence from the budget was an allocation for construction of a high school. The Davidson County Board of Education had requested funds for a high school to be built across from Oak Grove Middle School in the northern part of the county.

"We have increased funding to the schools at a time when a lot of other counties are decreasing," McClure said. "We've had a new school in the budget for quite sometime. We're losing money right and left from the state and they're threatening to take away lottery money, so it's a little uncertain right now as to what kind of income we're going to have."

According to commissioners, construction of a  high school would cost more than $45 million.

While the tax rate will not rise, sewer rates will see an increase, as much as 9 percent, as a result of wastewater treatment costs. Ambulance and inspection fees are expected to increase slightly. The Gumtree, Fair Grove, Wallburg and Horneytown fire departments are requesting fire tax increases.

Also mentioned at the public hearing was funding for Thomasville and Lexington chamber of commerces. Burr Sullivan, president of the Lexington chamber, addressed the Board during the meeting and asked for an additional $24,000 for the two chambers in the county.

"Some of the things they were going to do with the funding we gave them last year is recruit retail businesses," McClure said. "They've done a good job with local campaigns, but we haven't seen much in the way of recruiting new business. They have reduced the amount they're asking by 40 percent, but we just don't know how much money we'll have."

In other business, two winning designs for Blue Star Memorials planned for the northbound and southbound lanes of Interstate 85 were recognized. The Davidson County Veterans Council is collecting money to finish the project.

Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3575, or kennedy@tvilletimes.com.