$500k bolsters budget
Graham County leaders dipped into reserves to meet all the needs of the recently-adopted $17,020,116 million budget, but there’s plenty of “rainy day” money set aside.
“We had to dip into fund balance reserves, but because we have exceeded the 35% recommended reserve ratio with LGC we are still safe,” County Manager Becky Garland told commissioners before they unanimously passed the 2018-’19 budget.
The budget was balanced without a tax increase thanks to sales tax revenue increasing by more than $300,000 and an unanticipated $200,000 in SRS funds.
The ad valorem tax rate is again $.585 per $100. Property taxes fund 41% of the General Fund. Shared revenues cover another 21%, while sales tax accounts for 12.9% and sales/fee/permits generate 12% of revenue.
As always, the largest portion of the budget is the General Fund, which totals $15,913,116. The largest fund expenditures by department are: Public Safety (30.8%); Human Services (26.65%); General Government (22.14%); and Education/Debt Service (10.5%).
The county has budgeted for three new vehicles – a car for the sheriff, a general government vehicle, and a truck for environmental health.
The budget includes a 3% cost of living adjustment for General Government, Public Safety and Health Dept. employees who did not receive an adjustment last year.
The General Fund also includes $1,677,259 in Special Appropriations for Education and $100,000 in case the county is ordered to move court trials to Cherokee County.