GARNER | Residents will likely see little, if any, change in the Hancock County portion of their property taxes for fiscal year 2018-19, Supervisor Jerry Tlach said.
On Tuesday, Feb. 20, the Hancock County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the 2018-19 budget of $15,038,199, which is a nearly $750,000 decrease from fiscal year 2017-18, after a public hearing where no one spoke.
“County taxes are really going to stay the same,” Tlach said. “Valuations went up very little, and if they did, it’ll be seen more in a town like Garner and that’ll affect them more on city taxes than county taxes.”
The county is anticipating about $5.8 million in property tax revenue, a nearly $100,000, or two percent, bump from 2017-18 due to increase in property valuations.
“We try to keep our levies the same if we can,” said Supervisor Sis Greiman. “We know valuations change.”
The 2018-19 tax rates are $3.88342 for the urban area and $7.05454 for the rural area per $1,000 taxable property valuation, which is the same as the previous year.
Hancock County Auditor Michelle Eisenman said there were no “real major” changes to the budget this year with the exception of the R35 reconstruction project between Britt and Kanawha.
The $5.4 million, which is scheduled to begin in April, was budgeted for in 2017-18 and attributes to the decrease in the county’s operating budget. The project will be paid for by $920,000 in county funds and Farm-to-Market funds.
“Is there increased expenditures in some areas? Yes. But is there decreased expenditures in other areas? Yes,” Eisenman said.
The 2018-19 fiscal year begins July 1.
The county board also committed $125,000 to four capital projects scheduled to be completed within the next five years. They are the tuck pointing of the courthouse, maintenance and update of the courthouse and courthouse security as well as the demolition and replacement of the county annex building.
Eisenman said the timeline for those projects may change each year.
Supervisors also approved the compensation board's recommendation to increase the salaries of all elected county officials by 3.5 percent.
New annual salaries will be $34,812 for the supervisors, $62,857 for the auditor, $62,598 for the treasurer, $62,080 for the recorder, $83,955 for the sheriff and $101,561 for the attorney.
Last year, the county board approved the compensation board’s recommended 3.2 percent increase with one-time salary bumps for the recorder, auditor and treasurer. The state average increase was 3.17 percent.
The new salaries go into effect July 1.