VALDOSTA – Lowndes County’s commissioners approved the budget for fiscal year 2022, which went into effect July 1.
The budget for FY2022 is US $ 127,539,859, increasing from the budget for FY2021 of US $ 124,929,564 with a difference of US $ 2,610,295.
The budget includes $ 98,010,298 in operating costs and $ 29,529,561 in capital.
The General Fund will increase from $ 59,443,920 in FY 2021 to $ 61,902,995 in FY 2022. It mainly includes law enforcement / rescue facilities (such as federal or federal drug seizures, prison operations, fire departments, etc.) but includes SPLOST budgets, corporate and service funds.
As part of the special revenue, Seizures, State Drug Seizures, Intergovernmental Grants, Prison Operations, Emergency Communications, Victim / Witness and Fire Services will increase by approximately $ 8,905,335 in 2022.
Federal drug seizures, lodging taxes, drug abuse treatment, and special services are expected to decrease by approximately $ 3,092,282.
Lowndes County Manager Paige Dukes said a rainwater charge will be added to the special services fund in 2022 as the additional cost of expanding services under that fund.
Services include additional monitoring, a previously frozen rainwater technician position, and ease of maintenance for public works, engineering, and the water / wastewater department.
The law library‘s funding will stay the same at $ 100,000 each year. The variance between the increases and decreases in FY2022 is $ 5,813,053.
Capital project funds include SPLOST VII, SPLOST VIII, TSPLOST and public road LMIG budgets. SPLOST stands for Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax; TSPLOST is the local option sales tax for transportation.
SPLOST VII is expected to expire by 2022 with only $ 9.8 million in the 2021 budget; SPLOST VIII will grow $ 1.5 million through 2022, from $ 21 million in 2021 to $ 22.5 million; TSPLOST to grow $ 1.7 million in 2022, from $ 1.8 million in 2021 to $ 3.5 million; and public roads LMIG will not see any increases in 2022, posting $ 1.5 million for both 2021 and 2022.
Since the start of the year, the SPLOST VII fund has been used for road / road / bridge projects and equipment, water / sewage projects, parks / recreational projections, fire equipment / facilities, courthouse renovation / equipping and 911 center improvement, district officials said .
SPLOST VIII has been used on the same acquisitions to date, with the exception of the 911 Center improvements. It includes use with the panel store, law enforcement vehicles / equipment, improvements to animal shelters, the health department, the Clyattville Community Center, and the Carnegie Library.
SPLOST VIII has been used in the towns of Dasher, Hahira, Lake Park, Remerton and Valdosta for years.
TSPLOST and public road LMIG have only financed expenses for road / road / bridge projects so far. They are the only capital funds with proposed spending on road / road / bridge projects as well.
Company funds include budgets for water / wastewater, landfill and taxes for lighting districts. It totals $ 7,258,536 in 2021 and $ 8,092,846 in 2022 with a variance of $ 834,310.
Water / wastewater will increase from $ 6,559,215 to $ 7,245,700, the landfill will increase from $ 336,481 to $ 474,046, and tax lighting districts will increase from $ 362,840 to $ 373,400 by 2022 climb.
In-house service funds include equipment maintenance, health insurance, employee compensation, and technology fleet totaling $ 11,318,982 and $ 11,422,839 in 2021 and 2022, respectively.
There is a $ 103,857 variance in fiscal years.
Equipment maintenance drops from $ 2,811,497 to $ 2,807,828; Health insurance increases from $ 7,326,660 to $ 7,418,292; Employee compensation increases from $ 370,000 to $ 374,759; and tech fleet will grow from $ 810,825 to $ 821,960 in 2022.
According to Dukes in the introduction of the budget, the largest source of income is the general fund. It was unchanged in years past but now accounts for $ 34,117,500 of the $ 55,227,500 in taxes that make up the fund’s general income.
With the approval of the budget, another motion came during the meeting of the Lowndes County Commission: the approval of the budget for the lodging tax for the financial year 2022.
This is a requirement of a Georgian law that says the commissioners can use the tax revenue in the coming fiscal year.
The statute requires the commissioners to collect the budget of the conference center and the tourism authority for the use of the income from the lodging tax to promote tourism, congresses and fairs.
It will then be included in the county budget. According to the FY2022 lodging tax budget, $ 375,000 has been proposed, of which $ 160,714 for the Tourism Authority and none yet for the James H. Rainwater Conference Center.