LEWISBURG — Union County residents will be paying higher property taxes in 2017. Commissioners approved a $20.6 million budget Tuesday that includes a .25 mill increase. This is the first property tax increase in eight years.
Commissioner John Mathias says that since 2009, county revenues have grown by $624,000 and personnel costs alone increased by $3.5 million, “The reality of a widening gap of expense growth versus revenue growth coupled with the uncertainty of what will happen to funding at the federal level and an anticipated replay of state budget standoffs that we had two years ago, we felt really strongly that a modest tax increase at this time will allow us to withstand uncontrollable budget adversity.”
Mathias says they preferred a small increase now to avoid a much larger increase later, “It’s a very modest increase now after eight years of not having one, we just felt that it was important that we keep a reasonably healthy balance sheet going into a period of uncertainty.”
In order to balance the budget, all capital projects will be funded through the capital reserve fund. Additionally, the general fund was reimbursed for expenses related the 911 and engineering work at Great Stream Commons. The millage increase will add $25 for every $100,000 of assessed value to tax bills next year.