Catawba County News
Catawba County's Recommended Fiscal Year 2018-19 Budget Presented to Commissioners
May 14, 2018
Catawba County Manager Mick Berry presented his recommended Fiscal Year 2018-19 budget to the Catawba County Commissioners following the May 14, 2018 Board Subcommittee meetings. The full budget recommendation may be viewed online at http://www.catawbacountync.gov/county-services/budget-management/2018-19-budget/.
The recommended budget, which maintains the current property tax rate of $0.575 per $100 of valuation, totals $248.78 million (a 4% decrease from the current year). The budget projects growth in both property tax and sales tax revenues due to continued growth in retail sales, residential development and business investment.
This growth in revenue allows for ongoing implementation of the Board of Commissioners’ strategic plan, which supports continued economic growth while maintaining the second lowest tax rate among neighboring area counties and the sixth lowest of the state’s 27 urban counties.
During his presentation, Berry highlighted the alignment of major budget investments with the Board of Commissioners’ strategic plan aimed at driving economic and population growth and improving Catawba County’s quality of life:
- Economic Development: Fostering a positive business climate by maintaining competitive tax rate and development fees; investing $2.7M in Trivium Corporate Center land acquisition and development to stratify market-ready product offerings in partnership with the City of Hickory and the Economic Development Corporation; and continuing to support the recently completed speculative building developed in partnership with the City of Claremont
- Education: A 2.6% increase in total per-pupil funding; a 4.8% increase in funding for Catawba Valley Community College; funding for a range of school capital and construction projects; and a second-year $1.3M commitment in support of the collaborative K-64 initiative
- Community Health & Safety: Increased funding to City of Newton and Maiden Rescue Squad to support expansion of medical first response and rescue services in rural districts; increased funding to Conover and Cooksville fire services for equipment replacement and facility needs; and dedicated funding to support “right care, right place, right time” public safety needs
- Water & Sewer: Significant investments to lead growth through targeted water/sewer projects in partnership with cities of Newton, Claremont and Conover
- Parks: Funding to begin development of Mountain Creek Park Phase I, which will bring miles of hiking and mountain biking trails to the Sherrills Ford community
The Commissioners will hold budget hearings for County departments and outside agencies Thursday, May 24 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the 1924 Courthouse in Newton. These hearings are open to the public.
On Thursday, May 31, the Commissioners will hold a Public Hearing to accept citizen comments regarding the recommended budget. This hearing will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Board of Commissioners Meeting Room at the Catawba County Justice Center.
The Commissioners are scheduled to vote on budget adoption at their Monday, June 4 Board meeting, which will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Board of Commissioners Meeting Room at the Catawba County Justice Center.