County hears from public on proposed budget

Stokes County Board of Commissioners held a public hearing to hear citizen input regarding the 2015/16 fiscal year proposed Stokes County budget on Tuesday. With less than a dozen in attendance, three out of the four speakers spoke against the proposed 6 cent property tax increase.

Amos Elvis suggested the board tighten their belt because of the difficult economy.

“We can’t try and be like every other county, we’re a small rural county and there’s people in need. This isn’t the right time. There may not be but a handful here tonight but we the citizens do not want this.”

E.A. Timm added he believed the board of commissioners had good intentions and were working to keep taxes down but they needed to find a way to live within their means.

Mike Orr offered a solution to the issue proposing the board collect from those delinquent in paying their property taxes.

“I’ve come across an individual three years behind. I called the tax office and asked what is the criteria when you decide to go after someone? A year behind? A dollar amount? I never got an answer other than hearing there are some people 10 years behind,” Orr said.

“My solution is go collect overdue property taxes and they wouldn’t need to be raised,” he said.

Along with the proposed 6 cent property tax increase is a 1.5 cent fire tax.

Eddie Horn, Rural Hall fire chief said any consideration or recommendation from the county manager would be greatly appreciated and would benefit surrounding departments.

Amanda Dodson can be reached at (336) 813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.

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