Highland County Board of Supervisors Raises EMS and Enterprise Fees, Hikes Tax Levy Rate to $0.46 for Fiscal Year 2025

The Highland County Board of Supervisors held their April Work Session on April 23, opening with a hearing on the County (General Fund) Budget  for fiscal year 2025. As proposed, the budget sat at just over $11 million with Highland County Public School’s expenditures at just under $6 million, the Department of Social Services at just over $800,000, and the capitol improvement fund at $134,000.


Estimated revenues as presented came in at just over $10.5 million, so a transfer from the general fund would be needed for a balance at the $0.45 tax levy rate. After a question from the board, Interim County Administrator Jerri Botkin noted that increasing the tax levy rate to $0.46 would lessen the amount needed for transfer to balance by about $100,000. 


There was public comment, in which the overwhelming opinion was that budget spending had grown to an alltime high and should be curbed.


“Good evening, my name is Jamie Collins. While I understand that tax increases are necessary, with the added fees being proposed this year, the check that I write for taxes and fees may be well over 30 percent higher than last year.”


After public comment the board moved on to set the EMS fee and enterprise fee for fiscal year 2025. Both will see an increase, with the EMS fee going to $330 per year and the enterprise fee increasing $50 per year across the board. This would put the fee at $200 per year for households.


Both resolutions passed with a split vote.


“Paul Trible no, Harry Sponaugle yes, Henry Budzinski, yes.”


The tax levy rate was then set to $0.46 with the same split vote: Trible, no; Budzinski, yes; Sponaugle, yes.

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Brit Chambers

Brit Chambers is a resident of Highland County, Virginia and a news reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio. She loves living in a small town and relishes the outdoor adventures and community feeling that Highland has to offer. Brit has a background in journalism, marketing, and public relations and spends her free time reading good books, baking sourdough bread, and hiking with her family.

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