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BOC hears budget plan
County - LOCAL

COVINGTON, Ga. – A consensus of the Newton County Board of Commissioners (BOC) gave County Manager Lloyd Kerr and Finance Director Nicole Cross the go-ahead to prepare the county’s final FY 2018 budget at Wednesday’s work session.

The budget includes a 5 percent cost of living adjustment for all non-public safety county employees and a market adjustment for sworn deputies and fire service personnel. It also includes funds for the county’s cash reserve, fund balance and contingency fund.

The plan calls for the raises to be split into two parts, with part given in July and the remainder being given in January 2018. Under the current proposal, non-sworn personnel will receive a 3 percent raise in July and the remaining 2 percent on Jan. 1, 2018. Sworn deputies and fire service personnel will receive one-half of the market adjustment in July with the remainder on Jan. 1, 2018.

At the May 30 budget work session, commissioners were told that a .20 millage rate increase would be needed to provide the public safety market adjustments. At that time, four members said they were leaning toward supporting the increase.

Kerr told commissioners that a millage rate increase would now not be necessary because the county’s tax digest came in higher than expected. The current rate is 13.441.

“We had budgeted a 5 percent increase in the digest. It appears that it came back quite a bit more, a little over 7 percent,” he said.

Kerr said a line item budget will be prepared to be presented at the June 20 BOC meeting. Cross said public hearings on the budget will be scheduled for July.