By Debbie Hall
The Patrick County Board of Supervisors will get a first glimpse of the proposed spending plan and proposed tax hike at their meeting on Monday, March 11.
The board also will establish a tax rate and set the required public hearing, according to the agenda.
“There is going to have to be some type of tax increase, but we will keep it as fair and equitable as we can to the citizens of the county,” Rickie Fulcher, chairman, said.
Fulcher also serves on the budget committee along with Jane Scales Fulk of the Dan River District, county staff and a representative of Davenport & Company, LLC, which reviewed the county’s finances.
“Everybody that I have talked to knows there will be a tax increase” based on the county’s recent financial problems that included a depleted contingency fund and the decision to obtain a Revenue Anticipation Note, or RAN, to help meet expenses, Fulcher said.
While the county has not needed to use the proceeds from the note to meet its expenses, the terms required the county to draw down $50,000, according to previous reports. The county is earning interest on those funds, he said.
The note must be satisfied later this year, but Fulcher said “we will probably have to have the availability of another RAN” in the upcoming fiscal year, in case it is needed.
Fulcher said that by Monday’s meeting, the committee will have held at least three gatherings with certain department heads, including a meeting today with half a dozen individual county departments, including the Transfer Station, Maintenance Department, Sheriff’s Office, the school division and others, he added.
In addition to finding ways to cut expenses, the committee also is looking “at a couple of options” to increase revenues. They also are considering refinancing some of the county’s debts, Fulcher said.
Regardless, “this is not going to be a one year fix. It took more than a year to get us here and it will take more than a year to get out of it,” Fulcher said.
In addition to budget discussions, the supervisors also will discuss new business regarding maintenance insulation.
The board will consider meeting in closed session to discuss personnel, legal, contract and real estate matters at their meeting that begins at 6 p.m. Monday in the fourth floor board/court room, located in the Patrick County Veterans Memorial Building, on Rucker Street in Stuart.