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County budget approved with no tax increase

Lunenburg County residents will see no tax increase for the upcoming year following the approval of the county budget.

The total county FY 2022 budget is just over $40 million compared to the following fiscal year of $38.7 million.

The real estate tax is set for 38 cents, personal property tax is set for $3.80, merchant’s capital is set for $1.20, aircraft tax is set for $2.10, machinery and tools tax is set for $1.80 and mobile homes/barns tax is set for 38 cents.

Tracy Gee

During the budget discussion at the May 13 board of supervisors meeting, County Administrator Tracy Gee informed BOS members that personal property revenue increased due to a nationwide increase in the value of used vehicles.

The new budget calls for an expected $2,200,000 in revenue from personal property taxes compared to the prior year of $2,050,000.

The budget also includes a 33% reduction in machinery and tools for logging equipment tax levy following a vote by the BOS to exempt loggers.

According to Gee, the Compensation Board was providing increases in salary for the funded positions in the Constitutional Officer’s offices as well as 5% cost of living increases.

In addition, the Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney position will now be funded and will also be providing a sizable increase for the Circuit Court Deputy Clerk III position and minimum wage funding for other positions not previously covered.

The State Board of Elections increased the General Registrar’s salary by $30,000.

Gee said Luneburg County Public Schools was requesting $4.3 million.

According to Gee, the finance committee recommended flat funding with the use of FY20 carryover funds.

Gee said the proposed budget would require the use of $467,932 in reserve funds.

On Monday, June 26, Gee said, “Actually, the adopted budget included an increase in funding for the school. The adopted budget estimate for the use of reserve is $761,884.  This included funding the School Board to meet required local match.  Reserve funds are just that, the accumulated cash balance remaining in the general fund each year after all revenue and expenditures are collected/spent.”

The new budget also provides at least a 5% salary increase for every county employee, including those positions which are locally funded.

Social services employees will receive a 15% starting salary increase in addition to their 5% cost of living increase.