PREVIEW OF COUNTY COMMISSION AGENDA
MONDAY, JUNE 2, 2008, 9:30 A.M.
ROBERT E. HIBBITTS MEETING ROOM
1924 COURTHOUSE, NEWTON, NC
The Catawba County Board of Commissioners will consider final adoption of a fiscal year 2008-2009 County budget and a request for a transfer of funds the County has realized with the State’s assumption of counties’ Medicaid costs to the General Fund, to replace withheld Average Daily Membership funds in the County’s Schools Capital Project Fund, when the Board meets at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, June 2, 2008, in the Robert E. Hibbitts Meeting Room of the 1924 Courthouse, at 30 North College Avenue in Newton.
The Board will also consider a tax refund request; a request to declare the service sidearm and badge of Sheriff’s Investigator Doris Kirby as surplus, and present these items to Investigator Kirby on the occasion of her retirement, and recognize Mr. Doug Taylor, Executive Director of the Western Piedmont Council of Governments, with a Distinguished Public Service Award for his thirty-eight years of service to the region.
A. The Board will honor Sheriff’s Investigator Doris Kirby, who retired effective May 30, 2008, after over 30 years in law enforcement. Under North Carolina General Statute 20-187.2, the Board will consider declaring as surplus the service sidearm and badge of Investigator Kirby, and present those items to her.
B. The Board will present a Distinguished Public Service Award to Mr. Doug Taylor, who is retiring, effective July 1, 2008, as Executive Director of the Western Piedmont Council of Governments (WPCOG). The award will recognize Mr. Taylor’s thirty-eight years with the WPCOG and the advancements in transportation, economic development, home ownership and overall quality of life realized under his leadership, as well as his advocacy of regionalism and innovative approaches to environmental issues.
The Board will consider a tax refund request in the amount of $185.91. Records have been checked and this refund verified, so the Tax Collector recommends it be approved. Under North Carolina General Statute 105-381, a taxpayer who has paid his or her taxes may request a refund (in writing) for the amount paid in error.
The Board will consider a budget transfer in the amount of $1,200,000 from Medicaid savings, realized as a result of the State assuming counties’ Medicaid costs, to replace withheld Average Daily Membership funds in the County’s Schools Capital Project Fund.
The North Carolina General Assembly enacted comprehensive Medicaid funding reform legislation in the 2007 Appropriations Act (Session Law 2007-323). The cornerstone of the legislation is the State’s assumption of counties’ Medicaid costs, but it contains several other provisions that impact county revenues. In exchange for the elimination of counties’ Medicaid costs, the legislation temporarily decreases the Average Daily Membership (ADM) funds allocated to counties from the Public School Building Capital Fund (PSBCF); phases out the counties’ authority to levy a one-half cent local option sales and use tax; and requires counties to hold municipalities harmless for their loss of local sales tax revenue.
During fiscal year 2007-2008 only, the legislation requires the State to assume a 25% share of Medicaid expenditures by reducing the amount of each county’s PSBCF funds by the lesser of 60 percent of expected ADM allocation or 60 percent of the amount of the County’s Medicaid share assumed by the State during this fiscal year. Counties must hold their local public school districts harmless for the reduction in ADM funds. Specifically, a county must provide funds equivalent to the difference in what the county would have been allocated in ADM funds and what actually is allocated to the county’s ADM allocation account.
Since actual Medicaid savings for fiscal year 2007-2008 were too difficult to predict at the beginning of the fiscal year, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction deducted 60 percent from Catawba County’s ADM quarterly allocations in November 2007 and February 2008, and will continue with that deduction in May 2008. Through April 2008, Catawba County has realized approximately $1.3 million in Medicaid savings and a reduction in ADM funds of approximately $800,000, for a $500,000 net savings.
Counties will receive a final report of their actual ADM loss and actual Medicaid savings from the North Carolina Department of Revenue at the end of the fiscal year. This final report and hold harmless payment, if due, will be sent to each county by August 15, 2008. Since final numbers will not be known until after the current fiscal year ends, this requested budget transfer is based on actual ADM funds received by the County over the last ten years. During that time period, the highest amount of ADM funds received in any given year was $1,903,872.33. Rounding that number to $2,000,000 and then taking 60 percent of that amount results in the estimate of $1,200,000 which is being requested.
OTHER ITEMS OF BUSINESS
The Board will adopt a Catawba County budget for Fiscal Year 2008-09. The recommended budget in the amount of $221,731,226, maintains the current property tax rate, as promised with the passage of the quarter cent sales tax. The budget funds the debt payments for the current four year cycle of facility needs for the three school systems and Catawba Valley Community College, needed water and sewer projects, additional public safety positions in law enforcement, EMS, the E-911 Communications Center, Animal Services, and expansion of park hours.
The tax base for Fiscal Year 2008-09 is $14.8 billion and includes real property, personal property, and vehicles. The proposed budget would maintain the County’s property tax rate of 53.5 cents per $100 of valuation, which is the fifth lowest tax rate of the 23 urban counties in North Carolina, those with a population over 100,000. That rate is 27th lowest of all 100 counties in North Carolina.
CONTACT: DAVE HARDIN, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER 828-465-8464