CAROLINE CROSSROADS Free Lance-Star reporter Robyn Sidersky covers Caroline County government and schools. You can reach her at 540/374-5413 or You can follow coverage on Facebook or Twitter as well.
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Caroline real estate tax increase proposed

Editorial note: This story ran in the print edition of The Free Lance-Star Wednesday, March 12.



Caroline County residents could see their real estate tax bills go up next year.

Caroline County Administrator Charles M. Culley Jr. proposed a 12-cent real estate tax increase Tuesday night to the county’s Board of Supervisors.

The current tax rate is 72 cents per $100 of assessed value and it would rise to 84 cents under Culley’s proposed budget.

The median home value in Caroline is $160,251. So the real estate tax bill on that property would increase by just over $192, from $1,153.81 to $1,346.11 per year.

That would be $16.03 more per month.

The increase is mostly to fund debt service payments.

This is the first year the county will make payments on a $6.5 million updated radio communications system and $25 million renovations to Caroline High School and Madison Elementary School.

The total budget is $85.3 million. Of that, $45.1 million is for the general fund, an increase of 7.8 percent over the current general fund.

Culley’s proposed budget includes no new positions or raises for county employees.

Funding for the county’s schools represents 26.9 percent of the general fund, and is 3.1 percent higher than the current budget.

Culley proposed that the school system receive $12.1 million for operations, a $364,196 increase over the current year. In total, the school system would receive nearly $18 million under Culley’s proposal.

In addition to the $12.1 million for operations, the school system would get about $5.8 million in debt service payments and about $117,000 to cover existing leases for school buses.

The school system has asked for teachers’ salary steps to be adjusted and raises for support staff.

Culley proposed no change to the personal property tax, which is currently $3.80 per $100 of assessed value based on 100 percent clean trade-in value.

The Board of Supervisors will meet in several work sessions during the next few weeks.

A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for March 25.

Robyn Sidersky: 540/374-5413