No property tax hike in 2021-22 budget OK by county commissioners council

Tiffany Locklear, a St. Pauls elementary school teacher, spoke to Robeson County commissioners on Monday about Project Trash Talk, a litter-free program implemented this school year in public schools in Robeson County.

LUMBERTON – Robeson County Commissioners on Monday approved a spending plan for the 2021-22 fiscal year that totals just over $ 165.1 million and keeps the property tax rate unchanged at 77 cents per $ 100 of property.

The tariff for commercial water has increased by about 20 cents, county manager Kellie Blue said. There were no other fee increases.

The expenditure plan includes a general fund of $ 120,322,930, a Department of Health fund of $ 11,364,104, a water fund of $ 15,780,880, a solid waste reserve fund of 4,150 $ 000 and a solid waste fund of $ 7,765,865, among other elements of the summary of the budget ordinance fund.

“I just want to say thank you to a board of directors that are ready to take tax responsibility and manage some things,” Blue said.

The commissioners also thanked Blue for his role in developing the expenditure plan.

On Monday, the $ 1,232,442 scatter was also approved by the State Fiscal Year 2022 Home & Community Care Block Grant fund to providers like Lumber River Council of Governments, and others, who serve aging county residents with programs such as home meal delivery.

The board also approved certification from the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, which will allow funding to reach the organization so it can help develop programs for at-risk children in Robeson County.

The commissioners met as a council of the Housing Authority to approve an annual operating budget for the Robeson County Housing Authority of $ 2,189,949 for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The RCHA operates 290 low-rental housing units.

Pam Hunt, director of finance for the Housing Authority, also boasted a budget surplus of over $ 270,000.

“Five years ago we were operating in deficit,” she said.

County commissioners also heard good news from Robert Conner, the county tax administrator, who said the county’s 95% collection rate in fiscal year 2020-21 was a new high. The recovery rate for the previous year was approximately 94.5%.

The statewide average collection rate is around 99%, he said.

“We had to change our mindset and our approach to collecting,” Conner said.

The tax department has worked with taxpayers to develop payment plans in a comprehensive way, he said.

From July 1, 2020 to June 13, the county had $ 2,087,941.35 to raise, while in previous years it had $ 3-4 million in arrears, he said.

“We’re also focusing on the return years, particularly 2011 before it went bad,” Conner said.

Commissioner David Edge asked Conner for a list of overdue taxpayers for 2011.

Commissioner Tom Taylor said he knows people who can pay but won’t.

“You have to tighten this belt,” he said.

Conner also spoke about the reassessment of the department’s properties, which is expected to begin in 2024. The reassessment begins about one to two years before the effective date to collect data, he said. The last reassessment of the county dates back to 2018 and 2010 before.

“The Revenue Department requires all 100 counties in North Carolina to have a reassessment of all real estate at least once every eight years,” he said.

“Now the recommendation came down about two or three years ago from the Department of Revenue for all counties to try to move to a four-year schedule, so that’s what Robeson County is doing. We’re going to start with a six-year schedule first, but then it’s going to be four years, ”Conner said.

Housing prices have increased due to labor shortages, COVID-19 and timber prices, he said.

“Because of that, it also adds about $ 35,000 to $ 40,000 to the price of a new home. So we see the effect of that in ourselves, ”he said.

The department submitted a random sample of 394 properties to the Department of Revenue to determine the recommended reassessment. The state recommended that the county department conduct a desk review and visit some selected plots.

“So this is good news for us because it saves us time and money,” said Conner.

Pauline Campbell, Vice-Chair of the Board, congratulated Conner on his hard work and understanding.

“We are so proud of the work he and his staff do,” she said.

In other areas, the commissioners heard a presentation from teachers at St. Pauls Elementary School, Jamie Locklear and Tiffany Locklear, who helped develop the Project Trash Talk program, an anti-waste campaign launched in public schools. county this year around Earth Day.

There were 218 illegal dump tickets written in 2019 and 222.47 tonnes of identified roadside waste dumped in 2019, Tiffany Locklear said. Educators hope the anti-litter program will teach children to stop littering and help reverse the effects of litter on the environment.

“It was really fun and we’re really proud of what we’ve accomplished,” she said.

Faline Dial, Chair of the Robeson County Commissioner’s Board of Directors, congratulated them for their efforts, as well as Commissioner Lance Herndon.

“We’re all thrilled with it,” said Dial.

“And we look forward to more trash talk in the future,” she added with a laugh.

John Graves of Best Friends Animal Society addressed the Commissioners during the public comment portion of Monday’s meeting. Graves said the organization is working with local animal rescues and community partners to help reduce the number of euthanized animals at the county animal shelter.

Also on Monday, commissioners filed a request from Lacy Cummings to de-zoning approximately 2.29 acres of land from the highway commercial district to the residential agricultural district for the construction of a single-family home on Deep Branch and Lowe Road in Pembroke. . The application was made until a complete card was submitted and the application package completed.

A special use permit has been granted which allows Gary Allen Jr. to establish a family cemetery on Turnpike Road in East Howellsville.

Commissioners have applied for a special use permit that would allow James Chavis to operate a machine and body shop on Lewis McNeill Road in Philadelphus. Commissioner Judy Sampson introduced the motion, saying she would like to talk more with Chavis about the proposal, which has met with some community opposition.

Commissioners voted to accept an offer of $ 881 plus the cost of advertising a parcel of land near Florence and Jones streets in Pembroke and an offer of $ 1,500 plus the cost of advertising to purchase a approximately 2 acres of land at 3173 Shannon Road in Shannon.

Commissioners also voted to announce an offer of $ 2,600 plus the cost of advertising for two lots at Parkton Tobermory Road in Parkton.

A resolution was also approved to recognize Diane Goins, who is the winner of the Lumbee Homecoming 5K race.

The next meeting of the Council of Commissioners is scheduled for July 6 at 9 a.m.

Contact Jessica Horne at 910-416-5165 or by email at [email protected]

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