County Chairman's New Budget Proposal

Chatham County commissioners are struggling to eliminate an over $11 million deficit. To help close the gap, chairman Billy Hair is proposing a tax increase.

The proposal calls for eliminating 20 now vacant county positions, and having municipalties pick up part of the cost for the counter-narcotics team. Hair is also proposing a slight millage rate increase, hoping to prevent future lawsuits.

"Last year we went to court, we got sued, we lost and we had to reimburse every dollar they asked for," Hair explained. "If this happens this year, you're talking a serious train wreck. We've already passed the millage rate, we won't have that option available to us."

Right now, the County Commission stands five-to-four against a tax increase. Hair says he's hoping to gain more votes at the next meeting on July 26.

Reported by: Kim Angelastro

Here are the details of Hair's proposal:

11.7 M Deficit as manager propsed budget

1.0 M Reduce 5% COLA to 3% COLA
10.7 M

.2 M Have cities pick up their share of drainage--county will still spend $500,000 on drainage
10.5 M

.75 M 1/2 cost of health care saving charges
9.75 M

.55 M 1/2 tax collection fee charged to school board
9.2 M

.45 M CNT--cities pick up 1/2 of their costs. County will still pay $1.6 M + $600,000 toward cities' costs
8.75 M

.8 M Eliminate 20 of 31 vacant positions
7.95 M

4.8 M Capture revaluations and new growth (already voted on)
3.15 M

3.15 M .5 mill increase