County Manager’s Budget Proposal Would Keeps Property Tax Rate Unchanged

Johnston County Manager Rick Hester released his proposed 2015-16 budget Thursday afternoon.

The $201 million proposal is about $6 million more than the adjusted 2014-15 budget, however it keeps the 78 cents property tax rate unchanged.

The budget includes $54,233,000 for the public school system, an increase of $1,073,000 over the 2014-15 budget, but still about $6 million less than what the Johnston County School Board requested from Commissioners on May 12th of $60,252,483.

Johnston Community College had requested $4,600,000 in funding for the new fiscal year. Hester’s proposal falls just $5,000 short at $4,595,000.

The budget includes a 2.25% pay adjustment for county employees as well as funds to pay for an internal pay classification review with a target implementation date of November 1st.

Eight new positions are included. Five are for public utilities, two for 911 Communication and one for the Register of Deeds office.  Four of the 5 positions for public utilities are proposed to start Jan. 1, 2016.

Several fee increases are included. Among them is an increase in county water contract rate from $1.15 to $1.25 per 1,000 gallons.  A tiered residential conservation rate is also proposed for all residential retail customers.

Residential sewage disposal would increase from $14.00 per ton to $24.00 per ton. 

The decal fee for the Johnston County Landfill convenience sites will remain unchanged at $65 for 2015-16 but will increase to $100 in 2016-17. 

Budget projections would keep the fund balance June 30, 2016 at 16 percent, which is in compliance with the Board’s adopted Financial Policy Guidelines.

“The proposed budget maintains the current property tax rate, and is within the Board’s policy on reserves,” Hester told WTSB News. “The Board of Commissioners will hold budget meetings in June prior to final budget adoption by June 30th.”