Bath Supervisors Set Lower Real Estate Tax Rate For New Fiscal Year
Warm Springs, VA – The Bath Board of Supervisors sets a lower real estate tax rate for the next fiscal year. At Tuesday night’s Bath Board of Supervisors meeting the board voted to set the tax rate at 48 cents per $100 of assessed value for fiscal year 2011-2012. That’s down from the current rate of 55 cents, but with most property values rising as a result of the reassessment, most homeowners will pay more taxes.
With the reassessment, real estate values went up an average of 20%. During board discussion, Supervisor Percy Nowlin said that in Bath County 65% of taxes are paid by The Homestead, The Homestead Preserve and the Pump Storage Station, while everyone else pays 35%. He cautioned against cutting the tax rate too much.
Supervisor Stuart Hall spoke in favor of setting the tax rate at 46 cents. The 46 cent rate would neutralize the increase of the reassessment for most tax payers. Hall said they had a budget balanced at the 46 cent rate and a fund balance that was sufficient, so he asked the board, why raise taxes of you don’t need to. Hall said higher taxes placed a burden on the elderly and young families.
Supervisor Jon Trees said the county has gone with a lower rate before and used the contingency fund to balance the budget. He added that the auditor said Bath County could not keep doing that.
Supervisor Trees made a motion to set the rate at 48 cents. Supervisor Hall then made a substitute motion to set the rate at 46 cents. The substitute motion failed on a vote of 1 to 4, and the motion on the 48 cent rate passed on a vote of 4 to 1.
The board also voted to include in the budget $32,000 for the Behavior Intervention Program at Valley Elementary. The program has been in place for four years and recently regulation changes have affected funding sources. Also included in the budget was $300,000 for county self insurance. This had been removed from the budget earlier but was replaced on Tuesday night.
Supervisor Trees said self insurance was one long term way the county can save money on health care. The money won’t be used this year, but will be held in reserve until the county’s insurance advisor feels it’s the best time to make the switch to self insurance.
The board also voted to supply $50,000 for a fire truck for the Bolar Fire Department. The Department is located in Highland County, but serves Bath also. The Department requested $75,000 but the board approved $50,000 for this year with plans to fund the remaining $25,000 next year. The board also voted to include $24,000 for the purchase of a new drug task force vehicle.
In Bath County the personal property tax rate will remain the same at 35 cents per $100 of assessed value.