Jefferson County tax rate unchanged

March 27, 1998


Staff Writer

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - The Jefferson County Commission unanimously approved a $6.7 million budget Thursday that leaves the property tax rate unchanged despite calling for a $500,000 increase in spending.

The budget increase is being funded by a new telephone fee for enhanced 911 service and an increase in appraised property. The county also has a new source of revenue in video lottery funds, which are expected to generate $400,000.

"We're trying to hold the line on taxes," said Jefferson County Commissioner President R. Gregory Lance.

The budget includes $500,000 for the prosecuting attorney's office, $608,600 for the courthouse, $600,800 for law enforcement for the sheriff's department, and $775,000 for the regional jail.


Prosecuting Attorney Mike Thompson's budget increased so that he could move three of the five part-time prosecutors to full-time. An additional secretary also is being hired.

Thompson said his office handles about 8,000 misdemeanor and 300 felony cases a year.

The prosecuting attorney's office also serves as the legal counsel to the County Commission and the other county departments.

By having full-time prosecutors, Thompson said he will not have scheduling conflicts with their private practices.

The county budgeted less money this year for the Eastern Regional Jail than last year, despite an expected increase in the daily cost of housing inmates there.

Last year, the county budgeted $850,000 for the jail fees.

Lance said that the county has actually been spending between $700,000 to $800,000 a year, so the budgeted amount was lowered.

The biggest increase in the budget is the $724,000 going to the communication center for enhanced 911 service. Last year, $261,000 was budgeted for the communication center.

"I think it's a real good budget. I think it meets a lot of different needs," Lance said. "We spent a lot of hard hours trying to spread that money throughout the county."

The county also budgeted $152,000 for economic development, $169,000 for planning and zoning.

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