By Connie Leinbach
Despite back-to-back economic disasters, Hyde County’s 2020-2021 budget maintains about the same revenue and spending level as last year with no new taxes.
Proposed revenues and expenditures of $16.77 million are slightly higher than last year’s budget of $16.71 million.
The Hyde County commissioners will vote on the budget at 8 a.m. Wednesday, July 1, in a meeting televised via Facebook.
While municipalities around the country also are grappling with loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hyde County sustained an economic hit following Hurricane Dorian’s devastation Sept. 6.
The recommended budget maintains the same tax rate of $0.77 per each $100 of assessed property valuation, said Hyde County Manager Kris Noble in her budget address.
The estimated total taxable value is $886,461,530, which includes personal property, such as vehicles.
However, the estimated total real property valuation for FY 2020-2021 is down approximately $13,532,252 from FY 2019-2020, with most of that on Ocracoke, Noble said.
“What has changed is that total assessed value,” Noble said during the June 17 OCBA meeting. “We lost about $30 million off of that, and that gave us less money to budget with this year.”
The economic impacts of the COVID -19 crisis are still unknown, she said, and the recommended budget expenditures are cut below prior year levels to balance with the projected decreased revenue estimates.
Her message and budget documents are available on the Hyde County website: hydecountync.gov.
“Although our normal indicators for sales and use tax are not yet published, Hyde County estimates a reduction of 30%, which would result in a budget shortfall of approximately $458,925,” Noble said.
According to her budget message, the proposed budget uses $1,567,542.43 of the fund balance, which is the contingency fund.
Funding for the Hyde County school system will remain at last year’s levels.
The recommended budget allocates funding to continue critical services to citizens of Hyde County at the same level as in the previous year. No services or jobs are cut in this proposed budget.