The 20/21 Beaufort County Budget | Beaufort County Now | The Budget Passed Like a Ghost Ship in the Night | beaufort observer, hood richardson, id rather be right, beaufort county budget, july 6, 2020

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The 20/21 Beaufort County Budget

    The 20/21 budget was approved by a majority to the Commissioners on. the evening of June 8 without raising an eyebrow. There was no struggle to increase spending. There was no discussion about doing away with some things so we could have other things. It was a continuation budget Commissioners delight. Very few changes. Everybody, just go back to sleep. Are not continuation budgets wonderful?

    This new budget held spending to within a few hundred thousand dollars of the 2019/220 budget. The budget new year begins on July 1 of each calendar year. The tax rate is till sixty three and one half cents per one hundred dollars of valuation. Solid waste fees were raised from 160 dollars per household to $165 per house hold. Local fire and EMS tax rates are not changed.

    The reason taxes and spending did not go up is because of the corono virus shut down of the economy. Commissioners decided they could collect he same amount of taxes for the 2020-21 budget as they did last year. They probably can this year. The State is projecting as much as a 15 percent reduction in tax collections because of the shutdown. The State does not collect their money from property taxes, they get it from income and sales taxes. The Democrat Governor should have thought of that before he shut down the economy.

    The more than 59 million dollar budget plus other taxes such as solid waste, water, fire and EMS taxes is only five pages long. This leaves a lot of room to move money around during the year. An improvement in this years budget document is the listing of the total number of county employees in each department.

    The number of employees increased from 381 to 382 because a new position was created in the Department of Health to provide more MEDICAID Services. I voted against this because the County is competing with private health care providers. I have never supported the providing of personal health services by the Health Department when those same services are available from private providers. The Health Department is to provide public health not private health. This is another step toward socialism.

    The commissioners asked some soft ball questions to the School Board. The schools get about 16 million dollars each year from the property tax payers. Frankie Waters made a motion to reduce their budget by $250,000 dollars so he could say he cut something. I asked the big question: "How much money did you save by being closed for three months?" The School Superintendent never answered the question and your Board of Commissioners did not demand an answer. The dog ate the Superintendent's book keeping. The Superintendent did say he was proud to be feeding families and children during the shut down. County money goes into this program. More socialism.


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