BEDFORD - With 14 hours left before the new year, the Bedford County commissioners on Tuesday passed a $17.4 million budget with no property tax increases and seemingly few major spending changes.
The budget, which issues a roughly 3.03-mill tax on assessed property value, doesn't include layoffs or substantial cuts, commissioners said in early December - a notable change from the preceding budget, which came at a time of program cuts and tax-hike concerns after the county's first reassessment in decades.
The 2014 budget reduces funding for child services and the county jail, but the changes derive more from smarter office-level spending than from unwanted cuts, Commissioner Chairman Kirt Morris said after the budget's release.
An unexpected $70,000 shortfall in December and a law change forbidding the county from taxing certain farm structures had little effect on the final product, commissioners said.
The budget passed Tuesday is unchanged from the early December proposal, and any future losses would be cushioned by thousands of dollars in a broad capital improvement fund, Morris said.
The improvement fund, pooled from county offices and set to be distributed as needed throughout the year, will streamline office purchases, the commissioners said.
The budget includes a $5 per-capita tax on county residents, according to the resolution passed Tuesday.
Mirror Staff Writer Ryan Brown is at 946-7457.