Orange County approves 2016-2017 budget

Orange County residents voiced their concerns in Commissioner's Court today before the 2016-2017 county budget was approved.

ORANGE COUNTY - The voices representing 80,000 Orange County residents rang out in Commissioner's Court today.

Among them, Daniel Blake Roberts, hopes to start a video game development business here soon.

He's happy that commissioners elected to keep tax rates the same as last year, which will be .544 cents per $100.

"Especially with the way it is in the world, with the uncertainty of an election year, and everybody is having to tighten their belts up we just can't afford another tax increase right now," Roberts believes.

Today, commissioners approved this year's deficit budget, setting the county back $3.8 million. The lone opposition to the budget, Commissioner of Precinct 3, John Banken says a deficit budget is not ideal for the county.

"I think that we'll be okay, but we should've worked on it a little bit harder,” Banken said.

However, county judge Stephen Brint Carlton feels making up for last year’s shortfalls is a long-term benefit for orange county residents.

"But overall, looking at how this year transpired and the under budget that we had, as far as we didn't spend everything we thought we were going to, and we collected a little more than we thought, I think that if it works out the same way for this coming year we'll actually be in the black,” Carlton said.

He also address the tax rate issue that many residents were concerned about.

“We elected to keep the tax rate the same as last year. For individuals out there, their taxes may increase or decrease depending on what the appraisal district gave them for assessed value,” Carlton said.

Roberts is optimistic he can get his business started sooner rather than later.

"We need a lot more variety of business to help generate the economy this county desperately needs,” Roberts said.

The 2016-2017 fiscal year budget will go into effect October 1st.

(© 2016 KBMT)


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