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Lafayette County taxes are going up

Lafayette County and the Lafayette County School District will be operating under a project fiscal year 2017 total budget of $71,281,942 in revenue when the supervisors vote on approving this year’s budget during their meeting this evening at 5 p.m.

More than 31 percent, or $22,524,417, of the revenue is in the form of ad valorem taxes.

The budget has a projected revenue of $74,046,552 with more than 32 percent, or $24,283,533, being financed through an ad valorem tax levy.

Supervisors are expected to increase the ad valorem tax by 1.3 mills from 31.99 to 33.29. The school board has not requested a change in the ad valorem tax millage rate for this fiscal year and it will remain at 69.37 mills.

Residents are invited to speak at a public hearing on the proposed fiscal year ad valorem tax levy and budget this evening during the supervisors meeting.

District 1 Supervisor Kevin Frye said the budgeting process “was a learning experience” in his first term.

“The takeaway theme for me is that as Lafayette County continues to experience rapid growth, the resources required by each department to meet demand from residents is growing rapidly as well,” Frye said.

“Interestingly, a number of the requests we received from our department heads were similar to those we heard from residents during our public meetings for the comprehensive plan,” Frye added.

“I am pleased that we were able to begin addressing a number of those needs in this budget, including: increasing resources for our first responders in both the Sheriff’s Department and Fire Department; increasing our ability to maintain and upgrade road infrastructure; continuing to fund our relationship with the Economic Development Foundation; and, addressing a number of outstanding maintenance issues at our county facilities. Moreover, we agreed to begin the process of automating trash collection, which will save cost over time, is safer for our employees, and will allow us to shift resources to other areas, such as litter control.”

Frye said the county still has plenty of needs.

“There are still a number of issues that need to be addressed, specifically relating to county facilities that are out-of-date, overcrowded, or both, and I expect that after the adoption of our comprehensive plan we will begin that process in earnest,” Frye said.