SPECIAL TO SEGAZINE
The Ware County board of commissioners Monday approved a $20.9 million 2014 general fund budget that reflects a decrease of $316,575 from the 2013 budget.
Following a public hearing at 1:30 p.m., the commission convened a called meeting at 3 p.m. and unanimously approved the budget.
Ware County’s financial consultant Harrison Tillman analyzed the revenues and expenditures for the board, and explained that the economic climate continues to be challenging for local governing bodies. Budgeted revenues decreased by $316,575 from the 2013 budget, including real estate property taxes that are expected to decrease by $42,000.
Local Option Sales Tax revenues are also expected to be down by $250,000. Ware’s collections on jail fees for housing out-of-county inmates are anticipated to decrease by $135,000.
There was little good news included in the budget, but upticks did include increases in fines and forfeitures by $10,000, insurance premium taxes which increased by $55,000 and tax revenues, which increased by $62,600, mainly as a result of the new motor vehicle tax.
All in all, Tillman said Ware County is in better shape than it was four years ago.
If the county is able to keep the millage rate at its current level of 15.8, property taxes on an $85,000 home would remain the same as this past year, $537 when taxed on 40 percent value.