CHIPLEY – The Washington County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) met in special session on September 29 to approve the final millage rate and budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year.
The millage rate is set at 8.500 which will bring the largest revenue source for the county totaling $8,406,001 in Ad Valorem.This is the same as the current rate. Commissioners opted not to go with the rolled back rate of 8.2164 as property value has increased this fiscal year. The choice to not utilize the rolled back rate stems from a stipulation of the American Rescue Plan Act according to BOCC Chairman Tray Hawkins.
“Because of the American Rescue Plan Act we cannot lower the millage rate for two years,” said Hawkins. “However, I am proud to say that the county has worked diligently for the past four years to lower the millage rate every year.”
The operating budget is set at $33,091,708. The largest expenditure for the county is set to be the Washington County Sheriff’s Office totaling $2,978,073. WCSO will also receive $2,126,961 for jail operations. The budget in total is higher this year due to funding from Hurricanes Michael and Sally, bringing the amount to $141,830,779. The amount of funds over the $33 million operating budget are set to be used for disaster recovery efforts.
The MSBU budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year is set at $486,822.
Hawkins says the balanced budget is the result of a team effort.
“I am extremely proud of the
staff’s efforts in working with the clerk’s office and admin team,” said Hawkins. “They have worked hard to get the budget balanced and ready to go. I would also like to tip my hat to economic development and community partners and all of their hard work which led to increases to property values and brings more employment opportunities to Washington County.”