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Chatham going with a 4-cent tax increase

Posted Wednesday, June 8, 2005

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The Chatham County Commissioners are moving toward a 4-cent property-tax rate increase per $100 valuation -- 2 cents less than the county manager's proposed spending plan. The commissioners are expected to vote on the budget ordinance at their June 20 meeting.

County Manager Charlie Horne initially proposed a budget that relied on a tax rate of 61.7 cents per $100, which would amount to a 6-cent increase, if the recent revaluation is factored in.

The commissioners agreed to go with Horne's recommendation on funding for the Chatham County Schools. The manager's recommendation is to give the schools an increase of about $443,000, an amount that comes up about $1.1 million short of the budget requested by the school board.

The proposed budget includes a 3½ percent increase for the county manager, sheriff and register of deeds. Other county employees are on the pay-for-performance system, with increases ranging from from 0 to 6 percent.

Although the proposed budget included a 2-percent increase for the commissioners themselves, the board members declined the pay hike.

The recommended expansion request also included paying for six new deputies in the sheriff's office, two telecommunicators in emergency operations, a buildings and grounds position and positions in sedimentation and erosion control.

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