Volusia County is one step away from adopting FY 22-23 budget.
Written by Kristen Schmutz
Belden Communications News
On Tuesday, September 6, 2022, the Volusia County Council unanimously approved a preliminary operating budget of $1.06 billion for the fiscal year 2022-23 and the nine property tax rates controlled by Volusia County.
In the new plan, set to go into effect when the new Fiscal Year starts on October 1, is the general fund – the largest fund in the county budget – with $374.3 million allocated for services that the County provides to residents. The general fund gets its support from a countywide property tax rate that will roll back next year to 4.8499 mills (down from 5.3812 mills for the current budget).
All Volusia County taxpayers pay into the general fund, library fund, and the voter-approved Volusia ECHO and Volusia Forever funds; however, a property’s location determines whether any other tax funds apply.
According to a release, upon final council approval, this will mark the fifth consecutive year that the general fund tax rate has gone down, bringing it to the lowest rate in nearly 15 years. The tax rate for four other funds – the library fund, the Municipal Services District (MSD), the Ponce De Leon Port Authority, and the Silver Sands Bethune Beach MSD – are also slated to go to a rollback next year. The other four Volusia County government tax rates, which include voter-approved Volusia Forever and ECHO levies, would remain unchanged.
Various projects that will be funded by the tentative budget have already been proposed, like beefing up public protection, including funding for eight emergency medical technicians, seven paramedics, two ambulance supply technicians to address staffing relief, alternative transport, and growth and demand for service.
The budget funds also include 15 new firefighters to reduce overtime mandates, with Fire Rescue pursuing a federal grant to help pay for some of the new positions. The fire fund also includes money to pay for the relocation of two fire stations, the purchase of two fire trucks, an ambulance, and 27 replacement cardiac monitors. Plans also are in the works to renovate several other fire stations in future budget years. Included in the budget is funding for six corrections officers and the second of a three-year plan to add 18 new officers.
Tuesday's budget plan is one step away from final adoption, and the second and final public hearing to adopt the budget is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, September 20.
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