Richland County residents would pay a little more for service-related fees but pay the same in property taxes for county operations next year under the administrator’s recommended budget.
Administrator Tony McDonald outlined his $151.5 million county general budget Thursday as a prelude to County Council debates continuing through mid-June.
In terms of revenues, the budget relies on three strategies:
Currently, the county has just under 2,000 employees, McDonald said.
County Council is not required to accept McDonald’s recommendations and, in fact, usually adds on to the preliminary budget.
But he won points for presenting an austere budget; GOP Councilman Greg Pearce said he couldn’t remember another administrator in his 15 years on the council who had suggested cutting property taxes.
“I think we have some challenges ahead, but Mr. McDonald has provided us with an exceptional starting point,” Pearce said. “Council, of course, as in the past, can make adjustments.”
The county’s general operating budget does not include school spending. Neither does it address the dozen county-level agencies with budgets the council technically approves – from the recreation commission and library system to the zoo and community mental-health programs.