Buncombe Commissioners pass interim budget

Buncombe Commissioners unanimously passed an interim budget June 28 as they wait for the state to decide on a whether to allow the county to create an independent Cultural and Recreation Authority.

The next fiscal year begins July 1 but the temporary measure gives the commissioners 30 days before they must finalize a new property tax rate.

In the meantime, the interim budget keeps all taxing and spending at the same levels they’ve been at for the last year.

County Manager Wanda Greene recommended the delay in order to give state legislators more time to approve the recreation authority. Her plan calls for using the new law to levy a special property tax and dedicate the revenue to a long list of projects.

Pushed by Rep. Nathan Ramsey in the Statehouse, the original version of the bill was met with initial bipartisan enthusiasm from several members of both the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners and Asheville City Council, who saw it as a way save costs, consolidate services and more fairly pay for regional assets. It passed the N.C. House May 6 with strong bipartisan support.

However, the version approved by the Senate Finance Committee June 26 excludes cities from participating in any new authority at all.

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About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

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