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Millage rate not expected to rise
County expected to approve fiscal year 2010 budget today
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    Bulloch County Commissioners are expected this morning to approve a balanced budget for fiscal year 2010 that will not see a rise in the millage rate. However, although taxes will not increase, some home owners will see a higher bill due to state government cutting funding of the Homeowner's Tax Exemption.
    Bulloch County Manager Tom Couch said due to the state ending the funding for the exemption, some tax payers may pay $160 more next year in taxes.
    There will be "no planned tax increase or decrease," he said. "However, the loss of the State Homestead Exemption Credit of $8,000 funded by a grant to the county will cause owners of homesteaded properties to experience a $160 increase in their tax bill from the county and perhaps more the cities."
    Commissioners will vote to approve a resolution adopting the FY 2010  Work Plan and General Appropriations Budget for Bulloch County, which "vests $60,315,170, with a net expenditures flowing through the budget less inter-fund transfers of $59,552,540, and net expenditures originating from recurring revenues of $55,343,810," Couch said.
    Fifty percent of the money budgeted - $29,739,570 - is allotted to the General fund; with 27 percent going to capital projects ( funded by Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, or SPLOST); 16 percent set aside for combined special revenue funds; five percent for internal service funds and two percent for combined enterprise funds, he said.
    Through the balanced budget, Couch said the county leaders will "continue to improve the financial operating position of the county using conservative fiscal practices in a contracted economic climate, by having all departments and programs maintain the present levels of operating service consistent with the growth of the community, while ensuring peak performance and efficiency."
    The proposed budget will also "continue the fulfillment of obligations to Bulloch County’s voters with regard to successful implementation of Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax projects."  Over $15 million is committed for various projects, he said.
    The budget also includes "... the creation of a County Board of Elections and Registration, which has been established to consolidate the Board of Registrars and the former duties of the Probate Judge’s office who acted as Elections Superintendent," he said.
    The proposed budget also includes the adoption and implementation of the "Master Plans for the  community including the Comprehensive Plan, Transportation Plan and Master  Recreation and Greenways Plan," he said.
    Commissioners will also approve other actions, including an equipment lease agreement with Deere Credit; an inmate labor agreement with the  Georgia Department of Corrections; a bid for prescription drugs for inmates;   and other items.
    The Bulloch County Board of Commission meeting will be held at 8:30 a.m. at the Bulloch County Annex.
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