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Scott County approves budget, tax rate

June 27th, 2007 12:00 am by Clifford Jeffery

GATE CITY - Scott County's tax rate and 2007-2008 budget were set by the Board of Supervisors on Wednesday.

In a called meeting, board members quickly approved the new budget and a tax rate: 69 cents per $100 of value for real estate, manufactured homes and public service corporations. Personal property was set at $1.40, and merchant capital, machinery and tools was set at 72 cents.

That is all unchanged from last year, said acting County Administrator Kathie Noe.

A resolution for a slight decrease in the county's personal property tax relief was also approved.

The county receives a $734,000 grant from Richmond each year. A percentage of relief is given to taxpayers, 64 percent last year and 62 percent this year.

Vehicles are taxed on a sliding scale, with vehicles valued at less than $1,000 untaxed and higher-valued vehicles taxed a percentage up to $20,000. Those valued over $20,000 are taxed at the full value. Farm-use vehicles, business-use vehicles and motor homes are all exempt from relief.

While county officials were presented with a new capital expenditure this year that amounted to 12 percent of the entire budget, they had been expecting the additional cost.

"The Board of Supervisors has worked diligently to add to the fund balance on an annual basis in anticipation of this landfill project, and therefore had enough money in the reserve to fund the added expenditures for (fiscal year) 2007-08," former County Administrator John Strutner said in February.

Noe said the board's decision to add to the fund balance paid off Wednesday when the Board of Supervisors approved a balanced budget with $1.7 million in capital improvement funds earmarked for a new solid waste transfer station.

From a balance of $908,750 in 1997, the fund grew to $6.7 million with just over $1 million in county debt.

Besides the construction of the transfer station, the county can expect $764,000 in costs for the closure of the current landfill and $670,000 over the course of 30 years as the landfill is monitored.

The county's ability to pay for the transfer station in 2008 and still have a generous fund balance was the best news supervisors received, but they also learned that the county could reduce funding to the Department of Social Services.

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