Lenoir County: Nine things to know about the 2018-19 Lenoir County budget
During the June 18 meeting, the Lenoir County Commissioners unanimously agreed to approve the 2018-19 budget. Set at $66.05 million, the budget is around $2.1 million less than the adopted 2017-18 budget, a 3.1 percent decrease.
“It was a good compromise,” Lenoir County Commissioner Linda Rouse Sutton said. “One of my biggest concerns was the fund balance and keeping those resources. When it comes to natural disasters like hurricanes, FEMA does reimburse, but we have to pay first and it could be up to three years before that happens.”
The new budget took place July 1.
1. The Lenoir County property tax was lowered to 0.83 cents per $100 after five straight years at 0.835 cents. This is the lowest the tax rate has been since it was at .80 from 2009 through 2012 after four years at .84 for three years prior.
"A commitment to drop the rate an additional one cent per year for the next three years was all part of the compromise offered up by Chairman Craig Hill in exchange of the passage of the sales tax," Lenoir County Commissioner J. Mac Daughety said.
2. Child care development and Medicaid transportation funds are being paid directly by the state and not processed through Lenoir County, a main component to the budget decrease.
3. The major areas of increase come from Emergency Medical Services with two community paramedics (reimbursed by UNC Lenoir), an increase in medical supply costs and Central Communications for maintenance and monitoring the Jones/Lenoir digital radio system and medical information service.
4. The appropriated fund balance remains at $11,131,465 — a projected 16.85 percent of current year expenditures. Last year’s balance was the same amount, but 16.33 percent of the expenditures of 2017-18.
5. Property taxes make up 51 percent of the general fund revenue, compared to 19 percent for inter-government revenues, 13 percent in sales tax, 11 percent in sales, service and other revenues, and 6 percent in appropriated fund balance.
6. There was a 0.46 percent increase in sales, services and other revenues — currently at $7.37 million — due to inspection permit fees and capital management fund interest, totaling about 83.4 percent of the $324,883 rise.
7. There is no change in county administration, economic development or Lenoir County Schools in the general fund budget. The biggest drops were for elections (35.9 percent) due to no municipal elections and DSS (16.74 percent) with the state paying some services directly.
8. There are 476 full-time and 301 part-time positions in Lenoir County, a dropoff of four and two respectively from last year. The biggest decrease is in the health department, with five full-time jobs being abolished, leaving the number of full-time workers down to 49.
9. The debt service for the 2018-19 fiscal year is at $6,921,124.64. The annual principal payment is set at $4,955,384.64 with an interest payment of $1,965,740.