By Max Hrenda
The Carter County Budget Committee backed away from a decision last week to slash every county office’s budget, voting instead to selectively cut spending and increase the property tax rate by 25 cents.
On Tuesday night, the committee voted 5-2, with one abstaining, in favor of the increase, which will add 15 cents to the General Fund tax, and 10 cents to the Debt Service Fund tax, putting the county’s property tax rate at $2.40.
The budget must be approved by the full county commission before becoming official.
Although the decision reduced an earlier decision to increase the Debt Service tax by 15 cents, Finance Director Ingrid Deloach said after the meeting that next year’s budget would still require the additional 5 cents for Debt Service.
“They’ll be faced with putting that increase on again,” Deloach said. “If they did 15 cents, they would be balanced next year, with a note coming off. Now that they just did 10, they’ll have to have a 5-cent increase just to get Debt Service balanced.”