Brunswick County budget raises tax rate to keep revenue neutral
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Brunswick County residents will see a property tax increase next year as the county sticks to a revenue neutral rate as property values drop.
Last night commissioners unanimously approved the budget for the fiscal year that starts in July with a tax rate of 48.5 cents per $100 of value. That rate is up from the previous revenue neutral rate of 44.25 cents set in 2011-12.
The county says the increase was necessary to keep the same revenue level because a property revaluation showed a 10-percent loss in the total value of property. The county conducts a property revaluation every four years.
According to a news release, county staff focused not just on providing high service levels with the resources available, but on eliminating services that could be provided more effectively by the private sector or specialized non-profits. That includes closing the adult clinic in Health Services and transferring the Community Development Block Grant program to Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry, Inc. (WARM). Also, Brunswick County EMS will no longer offer non-emergency medical transportation services. Instead residents will have to use private providers available.
Other savings include $2.85 million over the duration of bonds as a result of refinancing to lower interest rates. The county will also save $1.8 million on insurance costs after eliminating coverage for spouses of county employees and raising employee deductibles.
These savings will help cover some increases, including an extra $800,000 for state-mandated elections requirements.