The public will have the opportunity Tuesday morning to comment on Wayne County's $192,291,163 budget proposal that includes a 2.65-cent property tax increase for fiscal year 2018-19.
The budget and tax increase, which would take the rate from 66.35 to 69 cents per $100 worth of appraised value, would be effective July 1, the start of the new fiscal year.
Wayne County commissioners will hold a public hearing on the proposal at 9:15 a.m. Tuesday in their meeting room on the fourth floor of the Wayne County Courthouse Annex.
Speakers will be limited to four minutes each.
Commissioners can approve the budget at any time following the hearing.
The board held two budget work sessions last week, but members said a third session might be needed to address the state budget that will impact the county's spending plan.
The proposed tax increase is needed primarily to cover the loss of low-wealth school funding, additional school resource officers, an increase in teacher supplements and to ease the demand on the budget's fund balance.
The budget includes $500,000 in new money for increasing the local teacher supplement and $750,000 for four new school resource officers and equipment.
Another $800,000 would be used to make up for the lost low-wealth funding.
However, the state budget not only fully restores Wayne County's low-wealth school funding, it increases it by nearly $700,000 in recurring dollars over the current level.
That could affect what the final tax rate increase could be.
Commission Chairman Bill Pate has said that some level of tax increase might still be needed so that the county will not have to dip deeper into its fund balance.
County Manager Craig Honeycutt is recommending the use of $4.4 million from the general fund balance compared to the $5.6 million this year.
All of the county fire district taxes will remain the same except for Waylin and Saulston.
The Waylin rate will increase from 4.5 cents per $100 of appraised value to 6.5 cents. The Saulston rate will increase from 6 cents to 7 cents.
Most of the county fees remain unchanged.
The inspection department is adding a $50 fee for insulation permits, and WayneNET -- the county's non-emergency transport service -- is adding a new specialty care transport fee of $1,063.55.
It is also increasing its advanced life support system non-emergency fee from $335.37 to $392.70 and its basic life support non-emergency fee from $279.49 to $327.24.
Wayne County EMS is increasing its advanced life support level 2 comprehensive transport fee from $768.57 to $899.93; its advanced life support emergency fee from $531.01 to $621.77; and its basic life support emergency fee from $447.17 to $523.59.
The fees for both departments are billable in half-hour increments.
Major capital improvement plans in the proposal include $120,900 for a sewer evaluation; $200,000 to start renovations on the Will Sullivan building; $385,000 for two new ambulances; and $400,000 for vehicle replacements in the Sheriff's Office.
The budget includes an 8 percent increase in sewer fees.
It also assumes that all full-time employees will be formally evaluated in July and August and be eligible for a 1 percent cost-of-living salary increase. Also in the budget is $377,000 for merit pay increases of 1 percent.
A copy of the budget is posted on the county website, www.waynegov.com.
Also on the agenda Tuesday are:
* A motion to adopt a resolution requesting the county adopt five inter-local agreements for the administration of flood plain ordinances in the towns of Mount Olive, Seven Springs, Pikeville and Fremont and the village of Walnut Creek.
* The Wayne County 4-H Robotics team will make a special presentation.
* Consent agenda items include: Applications for Present Use; budget amendments; a motion to approve patient fees, eligibility and bad debt write-off for the Wayne County Health Department as recommended by the Wayne County Board of Health; and a motion to approve Settlers Pointe preliminary plat, as recommended by the Wayne County Planning Board.