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County proposes budget with no tax increases

By Kim Walter -- kwalter@nvdaily.com

FRONT ROYAL -- A public hearing was held Tuesday night for Warren County's proposed budget for fiscal year 2012-2013, which included no tax increases and an almost $3 million increase in total local revenue.

County Administrator Doug Stanley explained that the main goals during budget preparation were to have minimal impact on taxpayers, continue moving forward with the capital improvements plan and to implement the findings from a salary study done in 2008.

The goals were made more difficult as the state offered no additional support, but mandated a 5 percent employee contribution in VRS rates and a corresponding 5 percent offsetting raise.

Additional funding for Samuels Public Library, the Public Safety Building and the Front Royal/Warren County Airport also impacted the proposed budget.

The overall budget increased from $83,549,695 in 2011-2012 to $88,282,532 for this fiscal year.

In the proposed budget, the county has included funds for a 2 percent raise for school staff and up to a 3 percent raise for county staff.

Stanley pointed out that this was the first year since fiscal year 2009-2010 that the general fund revenue would go up.

Chairman Archie Fox said using just over $1 million from the fund balance for capital projects wasn't a typical decision, but added that the board is going off a "leap of faith" that the new Dominion power plant would help balance funds out in the future.

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