Walker County Sole Commissioner Shannon Whitfield plans three public hearings this month to provide citizens with a better overview of the county’s fiscal 2018 budget, as well as an outline of how the county intends to address its massive debt.
The proposed fiscal 2018 budget includes a property tax increase of 2.00 mills in the unincorporated locations of the county and 2.189 in the incorporated areas.
The proposed annual tax increase on a home with a fair market value of $100,000 would be $76 in the unincorporated locations and $83.18 in the incorporated areas. That works out to be less than $7 a month, which is about the amount of a combo meal at a fast-food restaurant, popcorn at the movies or some bottled waters and coffees.
"We have a very high level of debt compared to our revenue stream, and our most recent audit shows we also have a negative fund balance of $7.5 million," said Commissioner Whitfield. "If we don’t change course, it will take us decades to pay off these obligations, burdening our children and grandchildren with the missteps of the past."
Hearings will take place on the following dates/times and locations:
Thursday, Aug. 17, at 6:30 p.m. – LaFayette-Walker County Public Library (305 S Duke Street)
Saturday, Aug. 19, at 10:00 a.m. - Walker County Civic Center (10052 US-27, Rock Spring)
Thursday, Aug. 24, at 6:30 p.m. - Walker County Commissioner’s Office (101 S Duke Street)
The Commissioner scheduled the Saturday, August 19, hearing to encourage more citizens to attend and ask questions. "The Saturday hearing will include a presentation on the recent audit and how it affects the county, along with an overview of each department’s budget," said Commissioner Whitfield.
The millage rate will be set during the August 24 meeting.