Franklin County homeowners may pay more in real estate taxes after the Franklin County Board of Supervisors approved the budget for fiscal 2021 on June 2.

Although the real estate tax rate will remain the same at $0.61 per $100 assessed valuation, property values have increased by 5 percent, which would give the county an additional $2 million, according to reports.

Supervisors debated on whether to lower the real estate tax rate to ease the increased tax payments but approved a motion by a 4-2 vote to keep the tax rate the same. Concerns included loss revenue from sales taxes or meals taxes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead, the county voted to lower the personal property tax rate to $2.41 per $100 of assessed value, which is a reduction of 5 cents, or about 2 percent. Other rates were kept the same.

The budget is estimated to be about $145.8 million, and it includes $89 million for the school budget. The budget was initially requested at $155 million, but was then suggested at $149 million.

Because of the negative economic impact for the COVID-19 pandemic, the budget reportedly was altered to be just under $146 million. 

Some reasons for the decrease in the budget involved a 50 percent decrease in lodging tax revenue, meals tax revenue depletion of 25 percent, 15 percent decline in sales tax revenue, and interest income reduction of 10 percent, according to reports.

The reports showed that new spending was cut from the newly acquired budget, and there was no increase in cost of living raises for employees either.

Supervisors approved the budget in a 5-1 vote. Mike Carter, who represents Rocky Mount District, reportedly was the only one who voted against it. Ronnie Thompson, who represents Boone District, was not present to vote.

There’s more to this story in the current issue of the Smith Mountain Eagle newspaper. Pick up a copy or subscribe at www.smithmountaineagle.com/subscriber_services to view the full article in the print and/or e-edition version.

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