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Tax rates set

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Adoption of budget is on hold

By John Barnhart

Bedford County has a tax rate, but no formally adopted budget.
    The supervisors met Monday night to set the county tax rates, which remain unchanged from those of the current fiscal year. The real estate tax rate remains at 50 cents per $100 in assessed valuation.
    Normally, the supervisors adopt the tax rate and the budget at the same meeting. This year, they were unable to adopt a budget at this point because there is no state budget, which impacts how much money the county and the school division will get from the state.
    They haven’t yet received a formal budget request from the school board either. They were, however, faced with a sense of urgency to get tax rates set in order to give County Treasurer Rebecca  Jones  and  staff time to prepare and send out tax bills.
    Interim County Administrator Frank Rogers expects a state budget soon.
    “I’m optimistic that there will be a state budget in the next couple days,” he said.
    The motion to set the tax rates passed 6-0 with District 4 Supervisor John Sharp absent.
    The supervisors also opted not to seek a meeting with the FAA for a preliminary study on making Smith Mountain Lake Airport a public operation. They felt that the county should not get involved in operating an airport.
    “I think the airport would be better left in private hands,” commented District 3 Supervisor Roger Cheek.