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BEAUFORT, S.C. (June 24, 2020) – At its June 23 meeting, Beaufort City Council approved the FY 2020-21 budget for $22.9 million, reflecting the City’s leaner environment.
The $22.9 million budget, which is less than last year’s approved budget, takes into consideration the financial hits from the Covid-19 pandemic, including a significant decline in the City’s Parks and Tourism Fund and State Accommodations Fund as accommodations and hospitality taxes decline with fewer tourists and visitors.
The belt-tightening at the City includes a freeze on most vacant positions and a deferral on some infrastructure and repair projects. At the same time, expenses for tort insurance, health insurance, pension contributions and vendor contracts will increase.
To help compensate for revenue losses the budget would increase millage slightly on property owners. An increase of 1.5 in the operating millage, 1.0 in debt millage, and 1.0 in emergency millage would cost the owner of a home valued at $250,000 an extra $35 a year.
For the first time, the budget reflects Fire Impact Fees, which go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021. These one-time fees will primarily be paid by residential and commercial developers and builders, and will be used to fund capital projects for the Beaufort/Port Royal Fire Department.
The fiscal year begins July 1, 2020 and ends June 30, 2021.