BEAUFORT, S.C. (June 22, 2022) – Beaufort City Council passed the City of Beaufort’s operating budget of $27.5 million for Fiscal Year 2023 at its June 21 Special Meeting.
The budget, which reflects higher revenues from hospitality and accommodation taxes as well as greater expenses in employee health benefits and gasoline costs, represents a 15% percent increase over the FY 2022 budget. (Both the FY 2021 and 2022 budgets reflected belt-tightening by the city during the pandemic.)
The new budget also includes allocations from the American Rescue Fund Act. The City’s millage rate is flat at 78.2, meaning there is no increase in property taxes. Stormwater fees also remain the same.
- A $1 million increase in business license and building permit fees, reflecting growth in both residential and commercial development in Beaufort.
- An increase in hospitality and accommodation taxes of 22%, or $748,569, reflecting Beaufort’s tourism recovery after the pandemic slowdown.
- A second allocation of one-time funds from the American Rescue Plan of approximately $4 million, which will be used to offset revenue losses experienced during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, and help fund some community priorities, such as stormwater improvements and affordable housing.
- A resumed capital replacement program that includes a police officer training simulator and security upgrades to the Public Works complex.
The budget includes no new positions and no new debt. Insurance benefits for employees increased by 6%. The budget also includes a merit raise pool for employees of 3%.
The new budget year begins on July 1, 2022, and ends on June 30, 2023.
More information on the budget can be found on the city’s website: http://www.cityofbeaufort.org/162/Budgets.