Catawba County News
Manager's FY23 Budget Recommendation
Published: May 19, 2022
Catawba County Manager Mick Berry has recommended a budget of $306M for Fiscal Year 2022/23. The recommendation maintains the current property tax rate of $0.575 per $100 of valuation, which remains the second-lowest tax rate among 11 neighboring counties. The full budget recommendation may be viewed online at https://www.catawbacountync.gov/county-services/budget-management/2022-23-budget/.
The manager’s recommendation is based on a continued strong revenue forecast for Catawba County. The total recommended budget reflects a 5.9 percent decrease from FY22, which is driven primarily by the appropriation of American Rescue Act funds during FY22 and the receipt of a $22M state grant for Newton-Conover High School renovations.
The recommended budget invests in core services and maintains a focus on key elements of the Board’s strategic plan to maintain long-term economic growth and quality of life.
“The County is able to make these investments due to increased private investment and growth in the tax base and a long-standing commitment to conservative budgeting,” said Berry.
Highlights of the manager’s budget recommendation include the following:
- Education: Supporting local public education with a 3.5 percent increase in total per-pupil funding, $10.1M in school capital funding, with additional funds for Newton-Conover High School renovations and Hickory High School renovations, a set-aside of $1.1M for future Chromebook replacement, and continued support of the collaborative K-64 initiative.
- Public Health: Addressing the continually evolving health needs of students with a new School Charge Nurse position; retaining 15 state-funded school health assistants and two community health workers.
- Public Safety: Providing additional support to Sheriff’s Office through training and operating increases, including jail medical and food services, and vehicle replacements; enhancing emergency medical response with four replacement ambulances and transitioning some 911 Communications Center staff to 12-hour shifts.
- Planning & Parks: Increasing access to the outdoors through the annualization of 7-day-a-week park system operations, including Mountain Creek Park.
- Economic Development: Fostering a positive business climate by maintaining competitive tax rate; supporting increased building activity with four new positions across three departments: two building services officials, an environmental health technician and a planner.
- Compensation: Ensuring the County remains a competitive employer through a market-based pay plan adjustment of 6% and maintaining a stable benefits package.
The Commissioners are holding budget hearings for County departments and outside agencies Wednesday, May 25, beginning at 8:00 a.m. in the Board of Commissioners’ Meeting Room at the Catawba County Justice Center in Newton. These hearings are open to the public.
On Thursday, June 2, the Commissioners will hold a Public Hearing to accept citizen comments regarding the recommended budget beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Board of Commissioners’ Meeting Room at the Catawba County Justice Center in Newton.
The Commissioners are scheduled to vote on budget adoption at their Monday, June 6 Board meeting, which will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Board of Commissioners’ Meeting Room at the Catawba County Justice Center.