Cherokee County Commissioners received mostly critical feedback from residents on its proposed fiscal year 2013 budget.
The county commission held a public hearing during its meeting on Tuesday for the budget, which slated to be approved during the commission's Nov. 6 meeting. A copy of the budget can be viewed on the county's transparency website.
The budget is set at $193 million, a $3.1 million increase from $189 million when compared between Oct. 1, 2011, and Sept. 30, 2012. However, the county's fiscal year 2012 budget was based only on nine months, and totaled $133.7 million.
Canton resident David Hodges said he felt the county needed to "prioritize" its spending.
He noted the county used roughly $4 million in one-time funding sources to plug the gap for fiscal year 2013. He noted 2014 will "be a bad year" if the county has to come to grips with a budget gap in the same amount.
John Hiland of Woodstock was also critical, noting he "tends to look at the big picture."
“The state has been able to reduce spending, but I don’t know why y’all can’t," he said.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PROPOSED FISCAL YEAR 2013 BUDGET? TELL IS IN THE COMMENTS!
The county's proposed budget is based upon a millage rate of 9.99. Broken down, that's 5.825 for the general fund, 3.394 for the fire fund and .780 for the parks bond. The rate was raised to the current level in July, which is deemed revenue neutral for the county.
A home valued at about $165,000 with the standard $5,000 exemption would pay about $590 in county property taxes. Most residents saw no property tax increase as most properties either declined in value or saw its value remain the same.
County Commissioner Jim Hubbard encouraged residents to send their feedback on the budget before the Nov. 6 meeting.
"We want that information ahead of time," he said.