IW may see 9-cent tax hike

Published 10:59 am Wednesday, May 22, 2013


ISLE OF WIGHT—Isle of Wight supervisors were reminded Monday by county spokesman Don Robertson “they’re nearing the finishing line” with that day’s budget work session. He added they will need to set a time and date to vote on the $96.7 million budget for fiscal year 2013-14.

That’s been set for 5 p.m. Thursday, May 23, in the boardroom of the county courthouse. Windsor District Supervisor Delores “Dee” Darden said she’s “pretty sure about the board coming up with a figure that night.”

The supervisors also learned that while the $96.7 million is fixed, the question of how much to raise the real estate tax is not. The rate now is 65 cents per $100.

Originally, the increase was going to range from approximately six or six and a half cents to eight cents. Now it could go up to nine cents.

“What you advertised was eight cents,” said Budget and Finance Director Michael Terry. “Six cents was what you wanted to have.”

“You’ve added a whole lot of stuff in the last two or three sessions,” Robertson reminded the board.

Indeed, within the past month several department head representatives have pleaded somewhat successfully for extra money beyond what’s been budgeted, even after the required five percent cuts.

“It’s hard to cut emergency services and the sheriff,” said Chairwoman JoAnn Hall of the Hardy District.

The board is also expected to vote on the school’s portion, which is proposed at $22.7 million, although $28.7 million has been requested.

The supervisors also agreed that day to appropriate $608,771 to schools. This will, according to spokeswoman Kenita Bowers, “cover approximately $500,000 in state revenue shortfalls and $100,000 in projected shortfalls for Substitute funding.”

“We would like to thank the Board of Supervisors for working with the School Board under the economic pressures that the county has been facing. We appreciate your assistance in helping to educate the children of Isle of Wight County,” said School Board Chairman Robert Eley.