Jacksonville adopts a “No Tax Increase Budget”

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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) Jacksonville City Council members have voted unanimously to approve a $92.8 million budget with no tax increase.

Mayor Sammy Phillips encouraged the early adoption of the budget that is a continuation of the current budget because of the uncertainty of revenues and expenses due to COVID-19.

City Manager Richard Woodruff will hold some expenditures until the effects of COVID-19 to revenues are better known.

Dr. Woodruff has communicated a plan that allows standard expenses but holds on most capital expenditures until a clearer understanding is gained for revenues and costs.

For at least the first quarter of the new budget year, most travel will be banned and most capital projects funded by the General Fund will be delayed.

The Manager has initiated other actions that are to be undertaken to lessen the impact of expected revenues decline and this includes a delay in filling vacant positions and delaying some significant costs.

The $92,799,788 budget includes a $5.2 million Capital Improvements Plan for projects and city employee health premiums have also increased by 25%.

“Normally, the City Council begins the budget process in February,” said Woodruff. “They would hold about 10 or 12 workshops with the adoption of the budget in May or early June. But because of COVID-19, the budget is basically the same as the current year, giving us time to react to changes as they present themselves.”

The budget was adopted after several workshops and a public hearing on the budget.

The vote was unanimous on April 21, 2020 to adopt the budget.

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