A public hearing on Floyd County’s proposed $30.5 million budget for fiscal year 2015, which begins July 1 of this year, is officially set for May 27th at 7 p.m. at the County Administration Building on Oxford Street.
While the budget is not final, a decision not to raise taxes to fund increases is set in stone. The board is holding the line on taxes and that decision, once made, cannot be changed.
But those who want extra money for areas of the budget like the school system can urge supervisors to move funds around. In tight budget like Floyd County’s, that means that any shift to provides more funds in one area means reductions and cuts in other.
Overall, county departments this year requested just over $4 million in increases for the next fiscal year. The bulk of that increase came from a $2.2 million increase for county schools.
Officially, the proposed budget gives the schools $20,504,201 for the new year, an increase of $310,741 over the current year’s $20,193,463 funding.
But School Superintendent Kevin Harris says the funding actually leaves the school system short because the current budget including over $900,000 in “carryover” funds from the previous year and the system will not have anywhere near that amount left when the current fiscal year ends on June 30.
Speakers at public comment periods at recent meetings of both the school board and supervisors overwhelmingly supported a tax increase to fund the school system’s request but supervisors, citing what they say is heavy opposition from county residents in comments directly to each of them, decided to hold the line this year but warn that an increase is all-but-certain next year.
Some of those opposed to the supervisors’ decision say they will have the final say a year-and-a-half from now when supervisor seats for Burks Fork, Little River and Locust Grove come up in local elections.
Little River will see a change because incumbent Virgel Allen is stepping down. Joe Turman of Burks Fork and Lauren Yoder of Locust Grove have not announced yet but both could see opposition in a county where Supervisor elections were unopposed last year.
Those who wish to speak earlier can do so at the public hearing on May 17. If a large-enough crowd appears the hearing will be moved to the auditorium at Floyd County High School. That’s what happened last year.