The Columbia County Commission conducted a final review Tuesday of a proposed budget for fiscal year 2008-09.
The $56.7 million budget recently was adjusted to reflect an 8 percent growth in the county's tax digest. When budgeting started in January, officials planned under the assumption that the digest would grow by 10 percent, county Administrator Steve Szablewski said.
The budget was amended to reflect the lower projections, he said, though county staffers still were able to present commissioners with a balanced budget.
The proposed budget represents an almost 5 percent increase above the current fiscal year, but the commission doesn't intend to raise the tax rate, Szablewski said.
Additional revenue from property reassessments and other revenue sources will likely cover the about $1.1 million added to the proposed budget from the previous year.
The county's 2007 tax digest dropped 5.5 percent from 2006. Though fewer new homes were added to the tax digest last year than in 2006, new home sales accounted for 59 percent of the digest's growth, according to the county's tax assessor's office.
The commission is expected to approve the proposed budget at a June 3 meeting.
Also at the meeting, commissioners approved the completion of a study for the county's "Gateway," a stretch of land near Grovetown bordering Interstate 20.
According to the study, the area might support an 8,000-seat civic center, a retirement home, a new movie theater, and heavy housing and commercial development.
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