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County budget proposed for next fiscal year

Janet Imrick

Randolph Hub


ASHEBORO – Randolph County commissioners have begun the review of a $169,195,179 budget proposal for the 2023-24 fiscal year, an increase from the current year's budget.


County Manager Hal Johnson and Will Massie, assistant county manager and finance officer, presented the proposal to the Board of Commissioners during a special meeting on Tuesday, May 30.


According to Johnson, the increase is thanks to revenue growth from property development and sales tax. Massie said there was a 14.7% in sales tax revenue this year.


The final budget adoption is scheduled for Monday, June 19. A public hearing is set for June 12 at 6:30 p.m.


Johnson highlighted six challenges he hoped to address: 

— Staff retention and retraining.

— Labor shortages.

— Inflation and higher costs of food and fuel.

— Supply chain issues.

— Slowed economy projections.

— Sustainability of services.


For employee retention, the budget proposes a local market and cost of living adjustment of 5 percent at $3 million, a market pay adjustment for "pressure point" personnel positions at $400,000, and a proficiency pay and continued pay-step progression within their salary grades.


The proposal would add 12 new positions within the county government (8 full-time and 4 part-time) and 8 reclassifications. Those are in social services, information technology, tax department, juvenile day reporting, child support and administration. It would pay for two replacement ambulances and 21 sheriff's vehicles.


The county's proposal does not recommend a property tax increase.


Public education would remain funded at its current level of expense, at $36,290,159.


School systems presented their requests for the next fiscal year. Asheboro City Schools Superintendent Aaron Woody requested $6,707,719, with a continuation budget of $320,000, and a capital outlay budget for $1,071,830.


Dr. Stephen Gainey, superintendent of Randolph County Schools, requested a total $1,428,000, with a continuation cost of $711,000.


Elbert Lassiter, acting president of Randolph Community College, requested $3,220,711, and to keep the budget for future capital construction and renovations at $402,400.


Other agencies will present their needs and requests in the coming weeks. Commissioners also expect to discuss property taxes from Toyota Battery. A special revenue fund could be established for economic development and other projects.


They also plan to discuss fire district taxes. All rural fire departments have asked to maintain their 2023 fiscal year tax rates. The fire departments will present their funding requests at a meeting on June 12.


Massie said the tax base is projected to be more than $16 billion after the 2023-24 reappraisal, up from $11 billion in 2019-20.