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2013-14 budget passes first reading 10-5

Posted on Friday, May 24, 2013 at 11:49 am

With more than 30 Moore County residents in attendance, the Metropolitan Lynchburg/Moore County Council met Monday night in its regular monthly session.

While there were a handful of items on the agenda, chief among them was the first reading of the county’s 2013-14 budget, which includes a proposed property tax increase of  $.10 (per $100 of taxable property based on the most recent appraisal).

At a budget committee meeting earlier this month, the five-member budget committee voted 3-2 in favor of the tax hike. At the heart of the tax increase is an apparent deficit within the Moore County School System budget.

At Monday’s council meeting, the council voted 10-5 in favor of the tax increase as proposed by the committee. Via a roll call vote, councilmen Jason Weddington (3rd-Dist.), Coleman March (1st-Dist.), Parks Norman (1st-Dist.), Oscar McGee (4th-Dist.), Gordon Millsaps (3rd-Dist.), Greg Thompson (2nd-Dist.), Marty Copeland (3rd-Dist.), Korby Holcomb (1st-Dist.), R.D. McKenzie (5th-Dist.) and Penny Smith (2nd-Dist.) voted in favor of the budget as proposed.

Tommy Brown (5th-Dist.), Linda Wolaver (4th-Dist.), Glenn Searcy (2nd-Dist.), Wayne Brandon (5th-Dist.) and David Boyce (4th-Dist.) voted against the budget.

Smith made a motion to approve the budget and Thompson seconded the motion.

The property tax increase brings the overall rate in Moore County to $2.43, up from $2.33 last year — per $100 of taxable property based on the most recent appraisal.

“The 10-cent increase equals $205,000,” said Brown, who added that, “the people in the county got hit pretty hard last year with the reappraisal.”

While there was a good crowd at the meeting, there was no discussion from the group on Monday. Prior to the vote, Chairman March said, “Should this pass, the next time we will open the floor to the public.”

That will be on Monday, June 17, when the council will hear the second reading of the budget. There is a public hearing set for 5:30 p.m. that day at the American Legion Building, at which time residents will be able to voice their opinions and concerns.

State law establishes the assessment ratio for different classes of property. Residential and farm is at 25 percent of appraised value, while commercial/industrial is at 40 percent of appraised value.

Last year, a piece of residential or farm property that appraised for $100,000 would’ve been assessed $583 in taxes. If the new budget makes it through its second reading, that same $100,000 parcel of land will be assessed $608 this year — a meager $25 increase per year.

For more, see the May 23 edition of The Moore County News. To subscribe to The News, click HERE

By ROBERT HOLMAN, MCN Editor (Robert Holman is the Editor and Publisher of The Moore County News. He may be reached at mcnpub@lcs.net)

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