Surry supervisors approve 71 cent real estate tax rate, budget

Published 1:26 pm Friday, June 2, 2023

By Akilah Frye

Staff writer

Surry County supervisors approved a real estate tax rate of 71 cents per $100 on Thursday, May 18.

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They initially proposed 72 cents but it was then dropped to 71.

As of April County Administrator Melissa Rollins had estimated a $600,000 increase in real estate tax revenue from a “limited scope reassessment.” The Smithfield Times previously reported that as of April county staff estimated receiving $112,514 per penny of the 72 cent rate, up 7% from the $105,000 per penny brought in during the current fiscal year.

Although Surry reduced its tax rate some residents may still see higher tax bills due to the reassessment. The excess revenue will be invested in emergency services operations to include funding of a 12-hour crew to accommodate second calls. 

The debt service associated with borrowing $4 million for Parks and Recreation projects will be deferred. The Smithfield Times previously reported that an early draft of the capital improvements plan had included funding over the next two years to put in a swimming pool, amphitheater, and bicycle trail.

“That means that the general fund transferred to that service will be reduced by $642,000, that is the two pennies we will eliminate that transfer,” said Rollins

The CIP budget, accordingly, will be reduced by $4 million. Public safety for emergency services will increase by $258,000. 

“I mentioned that we needed to add some more additional funds for our comprehensive services (CSA) and that will increase by $83,000,” Rollins said. “The total net reduction in the general fund equates to $332,000, equivalent to one cent of the tax rate.” 

The resolution was approved by the board.

The board then adopted the budget for fiscal 2023-24 year of $60.35 million.

The supervisors then accepted the fee schedule for parks and recreation that includes minimal changes effective July 1.

The building rental fee for a Surry resident is being increased by $5, from $50 to $55. The building rental fee for a non-Surry resident is being increased by $10, from $65 to $75.

The kitchen use fee is currently at $105, and would increase to $115. The bounce house rental per day is currently $125 and would increase to $140. The child sports registration fee  would increase from $45 to $50. Child sports registration fee for multiple children is $40, with a proposed increase to $45. 

Fees for kayak rentals and fitness classes wouldn’t change. Summer camp T-shirt would rise from $10 to $15 and summer camp trip from $5 to $10.

The fee schedule information can be found online with the meeting’s agenda for the public to view: