Washington County Supervisors pass new fiscal budget

ABINGDON, Va. — The Washington County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the $124 million budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year.

The budget took effect on July 1 — the beginning of the fiscal year — after being worked on since March of this year, said board Chairman Randy Pennington.

The full budget for the 2016-17 fiscal budget was $121 million, around $3 million less than the current spending plan.

There was no property tax increase with the new budget, which allowed the tax rate to remain the same as the past five years. The rate is $1.70 per $100 of assessed value.

The supervisors’ local contribution to the general school budget was $26.93 million. The school system’s funding request was cut by $300,000, which is $100,000 less than originally discussed.

An additional $70,000 was set aside for the county’s fire departments. A workshop will be held to discuss fire and rescue, including how to allocate the additional funds across all the fire stations.

“We have to provide public safety, it’s at the top of our list,” said Saul Hernandez, vice chairman of supervisors. “If we can’t call 911, that’s a problem.”

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