Lincoln County Commissioners unanimously approved the fiscal 2021 budget Monday night, making no changes from the budget proposal that had been presented at the public hearing two weeks before.
The total budget comes to $112,848,445; up from $109,596,626 for fiscal 2020. The first payment toward the debt that will be created to fund building of the new courthouse will by itself add $1.7 million to the debt service portion of the budget.
The proposed budget keeps the tax rate at $.599 (per hundred dollars valuation), the same as last year. In addition to their regular property tax, some residents will seen an increase in their fire district taxes. Residents of the Pumpkin Center Fire District will see their fire district tax rate increase from 9.7¢ to 12¢ and the fire district tax for the Boger City Fire District will increase from 10.5¢ to 12.5¢. The Boger City Fire Department will become the Boger City station of the Lincolnton Fire Department effective July 1st. The change will mean more full-time firefighters and slightly lower homeowners' insurance rates as a result of scheduled improvements.
Prior to the vote on the budget, Commissioner Anita McCall said she wanted the County to look at the possibility of increasing the local supplement for some educators left out of a 2% increase approved by Commissioners for certified classroom teachers only. McCall said she wanted to look at the possibility of extending the raise to guidance counselors, social workers, etc.
In other action, Commissioners approved awarding a contract to McGill Associates of Hickory for a long-range Master Plan for Parks and Recreation. The City of Lincolnton had approved hiring that firm last week in a joint venture. The County's portion of project will cost $62,650; and finalized action turning the Boger City Fire Department over to the City of Lincolnton.
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