County Approved FY 2020-2021 Budget
Written by Kristen Schmutz
Belden Communications News
The new budget for the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 was adopted Tuesday night without any dissent from the public or councilmembers.
According to a release, along with approving an $821 million operating budget, new rates for the 10 property taxes that help fund county services have been set. With nearly all of the 10 property tax rates going to the rolled-back rate or even lower for the 2020-21 fiscal year, the net result for taxpayers will be an overall reduction in the portion of their tax bill that goes to county government.
No one from the public spoke in opposition at either of the budget hearings, and all of the council’s votes on the budget and tax rates were unanimous.
One of the largest portions of the proposed budget is the general fund. At $311.3 million, it finances services that the county provides for all of Volusia. It’s funded in part by a countywide property tax rate that was set for next year at 5.45 mills -- lower than the current year’s rate of 5.59 mills.
The County Council also set the property tax rates for the fire rescue fund, library fund, municipal service district (MSD), Silver Sands-Bethune Beach MSD, Volusia Forever operating and debt service, ECHO, Ponce De Leon Inlet Port Authority fund, and East Volusia Mosquito Control District.
In presenting the budget to the council on Tuesday for final adoption, County Manager George Recktenwald noted the challenges of developing a spending plan in the middle of a revenue downturn caused by the pandemic as well as a significant restructuring of county government prompted by Amendment 10. The budget, he said, funds essential services in a fiscally conservative way and provides tax relief for residents.
“I’m proud to say that what’s before you today for final adoption is a very responsible and fiscally prudent budget that holds the line on taxes and is responsive to the needs of the community,” said Recktenwald. “This budget we have before us, I think, does a very good job of balancing needed programs and services with available revenues.”
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