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Southampton board adopts $65.9 million budget

The Southampton County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously at its regular May meeting to adopt a $65.9 million fiscal year 2022 budget, as well as FY 2022 tax rates and water, sewer and solid waste fees.

“It took us about five months to come up with that and about five seconds to pass it,” Jerusalem District Supervisor and Board Chairman Dr. Alan Edwards said.

The tax rates were unchanged from FY 2021, including the real estate tax rate of 89 cents per $100 of assessed value and the personal property tax rate of $5 per $100 of assessed value.

With regard to the water and sewer fees, Edwards said, “Those did change a little bit to keep up with the times, but not drastically.”

The FY 22 budget changes the residential and commercial base rate, which pays for up to 4,000 gallons of water each month. The fee will increase from $28 to $29. The incremental rate for amounts over 4,000 gallons is going from $6 to $7 per 1,000 gallons or any fraction thereof.

For sewer, the monthly residential and commercial base rate for up to 4,000 gallons is moving from $36 to $37, and the monthly rate per 1,000 gallons or any fraction thereof more than 4,000 is going from $8 to $9.

The solid waste fee, which multiple citizens asked to be eliminated at the budget public hearing, will remain $200 annually for each occupied residential household.

It was noted in the board meeting packet that the FY 2022 budget contemplates increasing certain fees associated with the applications for the Land Use Assessment Program and emergency medical services ambulance fees. Because the ordinances imposing these fees are

codified, amendments associated with these fees are subject to a separate public hearing next month before the board officially acts to increase them.