Property Tax Cut Floated For County
A 3-cent tax rate cut was proposed to the Moore County Board of Commissioners at a Monday meeting, along with a proposal to use part of the excess fund balance to meet capital improvement needs.
At the close of the meeting, Commissioner Tim Lea presented his own set of recommendations for dealing with the expected revenue shortfall in the 2009-2010 fiscal year. He proposed that the tax rate be reduced by 3 cents to 0.449, with a reduction in the advanced life support system rate to 2 cents.
Lea also recommended that the 2008 budget be applied to the 2009 budget with a 5 percent reduction.
"From day one, I've never wanted to hoard tax money," Commissioner Larry Caddell said of the fund balance situation.
Lea warned that if too much money is allowed to accumulate in the balance, county leaders will surely find a way to spend it.
"We need to give something back to the people who are paying the bills," Lea said.
Commissioner Jimmy Melton said he too wants to move ahead on building a new jail and county government office complex. He has also been crunching numbers on the budget and said he had been able to find a 2-cent decrease, but no higher. Melton said he would like a 4-cent decrease.
In early fall McSwain instigated spending cuts throughout the county. On Monday he said that he has already advised school and college leaders and department heads to plan budget requests that include no increases at all.
Board Chairman Nick Picerno suggested that the board reach consensus that the matter should be studied further with the county manager asked to "run the numbers" and to determine the prudent action to take regarding a possible tax cut.
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