GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – After weeks of deliberating the Pitt County board of commissioners passed its budget for the upcoming year.
The board voted to raise the property tax by one cent from last year.
The commissioners approved the increase Tuesday evening with a vote of five to four.
Scott Elliott is the Pitt County Manager and said, “If you’re a property owner of a commercial, residential, institutional, or any taxable property in Pitt County that would receive a tax bill, for every 100,000 dollars in assessable property, if you had a 68 cent tax rate, you’d have a 680 dollar tax bill.”
The one cent increase means an additional 1.2 million dollars for the county.
Elliott said, “The sheriff’s department, gang officers, surveillance intelligence officers, and the health department had some positions,” will see increased budgets.
The biggest percentage went to education with more than 24 percent of the budget.
This budget also allowed for a 2 percent increase in money for Pitt County Schools.
It was a topic community members at the meeting wanted to put their support behind.
Ali Setser said, “It’s said that there’s no greater investment than a gives you as great of rewards and yields as the education system. Even with that, we are dealing with teacher shortages, assistant principal cuts, no text books. Your efforts to supplement what the state has taken from us are very much appreciated.”
Elliott said no one on the board liked raising taxes but it came to weighing the costs versus reward.
“In the last 15 years the population of Pitt County has grown 30 percent,” Elliott said. “Those needs whether it’s in public schools, human services, DSS, or health, have grown at the same time but we’ve been able to manage those basically within the same tax rate.”
Elliot said the one cent increase kept the county within its goal of a rate under 70 cents.
He said within the last fifteen years, the rate has gone up-and-down and this is not the highest rate the county has seen.