County budget increases with no tax hike
Madison County will have a budget that exceeds $200 million for the first time in history, County Administrator Greg Higginbotham told supervisors on Monday before the board adopted the new budget.
Last year’s budget was about $149 million.
The county’s millage rate of 38.13 mills remains unchanged, meaning no tax increase, except for those living in the Southwest Madison County Fire Protection District, which received a slight bump.
Higginbotham said the fire district board asked for the increase so that full-time staff could be hired in an attempt to lower the district’s fire rating and provide faster response time.
The new year’s budget includes millions in federal and state funds that are allocated for specific projects.
The county’s general fund increased by $4 million from $62 million to $66 million.
“There are some slight raises for employees outside of the Sheriff’s Office,” the county administrator told supervisors, noting the cost for that is about $400,000.
County employees making less than $50,000 per year will receive a 5-percent increase, while those making above $50,000 will receive a 3-percent increase.
The Sheriff’s Department is implementing its second year of pay increases that reward longevity as opposed to blanket raises.
“It’s always a challenge,” Board President Gerald Steen said of the budget. “Everybody’s wanting this and wanting that. We’ve done an excellent job with our pay raises. Inflation is very high.”