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After holding a Public Hearing on Tuesday, June 16, 2020, the Pitt County Board of Commissioners reconvened on Thursday, June 18, where they voted 6-3 in favor of approving the Pitt County Budget for the 2020-2021 Fiscal Year. Although planned during a revaluation year, the $259,705,077 budget comes amid economic uncertainty, as the County, State, and Nation are still learning the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Response to the pandemic has dominated much of the budget’s planning cycle for the coming year. Budget workshops for the Commissioners, which are usually held in late April or early May, were postponed this year to June, to accommodate social distancing, and allowed time for economic impacts to become clearer. Those impacts included a decrease in the sales tax and investment earnings budget. Efforts to mitigate these and other challenges include eliminating a COLA provision for employees, along with the majority of position expansion requests, as well as deferring capital requests.
Commissioners made efforts to ensure these challenges would not be passed on to residents, through the decision to approve a “Revenue Neutral” tax rate in both the Ad Valorem ($0.6797) and Industrial Development ($0.094) rates. Commissioners also sought to maintain a strong commitment to the top-tier goals of education and public safety, with over $62M devoted to education funding, and a 1.35-cent rate adjustment for EMS Districts.
Budget highlights include:
During the Budget Public Hearing, County Manager Scott Elliott praised the effectiveness of the Budget Team, saying “Our Deputy County Manager / CFO, Brian Barnett and his staff have done a tremendous amount of work, in an incredibly short amount of time, to accommodate the never before experienced challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
To view the entire Budget, contact Pitt County Financial Services at 252-902-3000, or visit www.PittCountyNC.gov/BUDGET.