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Lincoln County Board of Supervisors approves $18.96M budget

Lincoln County Supervisors Thursday approved an $18.96 million budget with their proposed spending coming in nearly $112,000 less than the $19.071 million they expect to bring in.

The meeting was delayed a few minutes as District 5 Supervisor Doug Falvey and District 3 Supervisor Nolan Williamson waited for a third supervisor to make a quorum. Without at least three of the five supervisors present, they wouldn’t have been able to vote to approve the budget.

After a few minutes, Board President Bobby Watts, who represents District 2, arrived. District 1 Supervisor Jerry Wilson and District 4 Supervisor Eddie Brown were absent from the public hearing.

One resident attended the public hearing, though he didn’t comment.

County Administrator David Fields gave supervisors copies of the proposed budget, which he said had not changed since an earlier work session.

The proposed budget has a total revenue of $23.48 million for county and schools combined. Of that amount 71.9 percent or $16.85 million is proposed to be financed through an ad valorem tax levy.

That tax levy represents an ad valorem tax millage decrease of 1.28 mills and the proposed millage rate will be 102.62 mills — Lincoln County is 54.83 mills and Lincoln County School District millage is 47.79 mills.

Fields said the county expects to bring in more revenue because of an increase in property values. Assessed values increased $7.73 million, or 3.04 percent.

He said taxes aren’t expected to increase, but it depends on the value of property in the county.  Fields, who lives in Loyd Star, said his taxes could go down. “It’s all based on the value of your property,” he said. “If that went up, you’ll probably see an increase. If it stayed the same, you may see a little decrease.”

Lincoln County residents who live within the city limits are taxed by three entities — the city, city schools and the county.

Watts asked if the budget included raises for county employees. “No raises,” Fields said.

After just 10 minutes of discussion, Williamson made the motion to approve the budget and Watts seconded it. Falvey voted in favor of it, but would like to discuss it more at a later meeting.

“I’ve got some questions, but we’ll talk about that later,” he said.