FORT VALLEY -- Peach County commissioners explained Thursday the fiscal 2013 budget is balanced without a tax increase for the ninth year in a row.
Were very pleased through this economic downturn we havent raised our millage rate, Commissioner Martin Moseley said.
They spoke to a lone reporter as no residents showed up for the mandatory public hearing of the fiscal 2012 budget. Chairman Melvin Walker and Commissioner Roy Lewis joined Moseley in the session.
Looking at the fiscal 2013 budget, the general fund is $15.96 million. The millage rate will remain at 13.555 mills, as it has since fiscal 2009.
In 2004, commissioners lowered the rate from 16 mills to 14.375 mills for fiscal 2005. It remained the same until it was lowered again to the 13.555 mills for fiscal 2009.
The majority of the fiscal 2013 budget will be spent on public safety, with the sheriffs department receiving about 23 percent of the budget and other public safety receiving about 18 percent, according to a provided chart.
The other public safety category includes the fire department, 911 center, emergency management agency and the county ambulance service, the commissioners said.
The next largest pot, at 15 percent of the budget, will pay for the health benefits of about 200 county employees, according to the chart.
Lewis said the county may be in an even better position financially next year.
There are some things there that are hopefully going to free us up in the future, Lewis said.
Two one-time expenses in the fiscal 2013 budget are $271,000 for a federally required new radio system and $200,000 to help address encroachment at Robins Air Force Base.
It is the countys second $200,000 contribution to the regional encroachment issue, bringing it to the amount Peach County promised for the initiative.
To contact writer Christina M. Wright, call 256-9685.