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Caroline may shave penny from tax rate

The Caroline County Board of Supervisors discussed possibly trimming a penny off the proposed real estate tax increase for next year’s budget.

Last week, County Administrator Charles M. Culley Jr. proposed a 12-cent increase on the current real estate tax. Under that proposal, the rate would jump from 72 cents to 84 cents per $100 of valuation.

Now the supervisors have found a way to trim a penny off that increase. For every penny of the real estate tax rate, about $250,000 is collected.

Half of that money will

come from funds the county expected to lose to Aqua Virginia for water for the Lake Caroline subdivision.

The deal with Aqua Virginia was expected to be completed before the new fiscal year, but will take an additional six to nine months.

The other half could be made up in refinancing bonds. The board is expected to take action on the refinancing at its March 25 meeting.

The 11-cents increase will pay for debt service on two major projects: school renovations for Madison Elementary and Caroline High School, which costs about $25 million and an updated radio communications system that will cost about $6.5 million.

Culley’s proposed budget did not include any additional county jobs or raises. Most departments were also flat funded, meaning they got nearly the same amount that they received last year.

At Wednesday’s meeting, the supervisors verbally agreed to begin a real estate reassessment for next year. That means the county would request proposals from firms by the end of 2014, and a firm would be hired shortly thereafter. The new rates could be set for the fiscal 2016 budget.

Robyn Sidersky: 540/374-5413

rsidersky@freelancestar.com

 

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