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Cabarrus budget has no tax increase this year

The Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners unanimously adopted a $194.3 million general fund budget for fiscal year 2010, which begins July 1.
The county budget maintains the current tax rate of 63 cents per $100 property valuation. The fiscal year 2010 budget projects a $12 million revenue shortfall from last year due to a number of factors related to the recession.
To balance the budget, reductions in spending were required in county departments across the board, except where prohibited by contractual or statutory obligations. In addition, county employees will not receive merit raises or cost-of-living salary adjustments this year.
Nearly 80 percent of the Cabarrus County annual budget is dedicated to funding mandated services, including public safety, public schools and social services.
The public schools make up the largest single chunk of the budget with 41 percent of the budget dedicated to public education expenses and school construction debt.
While the county’s general fund spending has been reduced by nearly 6 percent, the Board of Commissioners increased funding for public school operations by 2 1/2 percent. To meet the demands for additional public school construction, the Board of Commissioners also chose to add capitalized interest as a financing option. This will prevent a delay in building four new schools and completing several renovation and school addition projects by making debt service payments with borrowed money for 2 1/2 years and using cash from the state’s school capital improvement fund, lottery proceeds and mitigation payments from the Cabarrus County Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance.
To continue to meet school construction needs, a 2-cent tax increase is proposed in fiscal year 2011, and another 2 1/2-cent tax increase is proposed in fiscal year 2012. In fiscal year 2013, the tax rate is proposed to decrease by 1 cent.
To view the Cabarrus County Fiscal Year 2010 budget, log on to www.cabarruscounty.us/Finance/preliminarybudget2010.html. Budget documents also are available for viewing at each branch of the Cabarrus County Public Library.

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