$67M budget ask for Oconee County

If you like to follow the dollar signs associated with county services, Oconee Council chambers the place to be this morning.  Amanda Brock, the county administrator, proposed a balanced budget of $67 million for the government year to start July 1.  As he’s done in previous years, Council Chairman Elliott started the budget hearing with a flat statement:  growth in revenues once again will allow the county to avoid raising property taxes.  Avoiding a tax increase aside, property tax bill revenues are increasing, in line with the continued growth the county is experiencing.  “It is amazing how this county is growing,” said Brock.  She and the county’s finance office track the numbers of new business, industry, and new home construction.  2023-24 property taxes are projected to account for three out of every four dollars’ county revenue.  At the same time, however, Brock made clear that, with new grants administrator Britney Martin, the county will be aggressive in applying for outside government grants, specifically the federal monies that keep flowing from Washington.  The administrator is also figuring South Carolina will send higher state aid.  Local tax collections are projected at $47.4M.  Individual large department  numbers include $11 million for the sheriff’s office and $6.2M for solid waste.  The council, as a budget committee, is welcome to question the administrator’s proposal, as they follow a schedule of budget readings and public hearings that are to conclude June 6 with a final vote on a new budget.