Real estate taxes to go up 25% in Isle of Wight

Published 10:49 am Saturday, May 14, 2011

ISLE OF WIGHT—The Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors on Thursday approved a $91 million budget that calls for a 25 percent real estate tax increase.

The increase was spurred, in part, by a $5.6 million loss in revenue from the closure of International Paper Co.’s Franklin mill. It means the owner of a home assessed at $100,000 would pay an additional $130 per year in taxes for a total of $650.

For the third straight year, county employees will not get raises, although the board will revisit the situation at mid-year and decide whether or not they should.

“They have challenged us to make that happen,” said Don Robertson, Isle of Wight spokesman.

The budget passed 4-1 with Al Casteen of the Smithfield District dissenting.

The county decided to not use a $4 million savings as a revenue source, which also aided the shortfall, Robertson said. In the past three years, board members had used the savings to supplement budgets, he said.

“We stopped the practice of using unappropriated fund balances to balance the budget,” Robertson said.

The budget does not call for any cuts in services, while many departments will receive the same funding as last year, Robertson said. The budget also resulted in an $831,000 reduction in expenses compared to last year.

“The whole intent was to level fund the budget and maintain county services,” Robertson said. “It was somewhat of a balancing act.”

The budget includes a $25 million contribution to the county schools.