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Hearing on budget set for tonight / March 18, 2019

Citizens are invited to weigh in tonight on the proposed Halifax County budget during a public hearing in Halifax. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. and will be held in the upstairs meeting room of the Bethune Office Complex.

The $95.6 million draft budget bumps up spending by 1.3 percent over the current budget which expires June 30. Most departments are funded at current levels or less, although the budget plan includes some spending increases, such as money for part-time employees to administer a land use taxation program for county farm producers. The Halifax County Board of Supervisors has not yet adopted the land use tax program.

The budget also includes funding to purchase new vehicles for the Sheriff’s Office and to establish a special response team, and it sets aside $328,409 for the county’s investment in a new emergency radio communications system. The $1.8 million capital budget includes new funding for rural broadband, public works vehicles and an expansion of the South Boston fire station.

The draft budget reduces the county’s contribution to the school division by $425,077. The reduction leaves the School Board with roughly a million dollar shortfall in its budget, based on its plans to give pay raises of approximately 3 percent to teaching and support personnel.

County employees, a separate part of the local government workforce, are set to receive raises of 5 percent for those making less than $34,000 a year, and 4 percent for those who make more than $34,000.

The budget contain a single proposed tax increase: a rise in the real estate tax from 48 cents to 50 cents per $100 in value. The 2-cent tax hike is expected to generate about $754,000 in additional revenue for county coffers.

The Board of Supervisors will host the public hearing before making any decisions on the budget at the next regular monthly meeting on April 1. Supervisors could decide to keep the 2-cent real estate tax hike, reduce it to 1 cent or eliminate it altogether under the current advertised budget.

The only way the board can increase taxes above announced levels is to re-advertise a new draft budget and hold another public hearing.

After the public comment portion of tonight’s meeting, supervisors will go into a budget work session to review insurance rates and employee contribution requirements. Supervisors also will consider a proclamation to declare March as Colon Cancer Awareness Month.

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Please do not raise our taxes. Property taxes are to the point that you have to work to jobs to pay them now. I am sure that people that prepare the budget can find a way to work with what they have.


NO NEW TAXES! What needs to happen is a cut. Forget keeping the status quo! 10% cuts to the entire budget, every department school board included. They should be funded only by what is required of the state.


AllPolitical2-There you go sgain!!!
You sound like an empty drum!!


Joe Blow why do you want increased taxes. What do you get from the county government that is so important. You sound like a county employee that is ticked he is not getting a raise. Well if you don't like it go get another job. I would tell that to any government worker. Sorry you trade job security for lower pay when you go to work for the government. I am really sick that anyone in local government makes over 100k. That is stupid and we the people that support higher taxes and the nanny state looking after our needs allowed it to happen. People need to learn to do for themselves. I am sick of having to to pay for land every year. People like you don't realize that you are slaves to the government and are freaking happy about it!

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