County approves 2022 budget

Newton. Sussex County’s 2022 budget totals $117,.470, 359, a 2 percent increase and comes with a tax levy of $99.7 million. The tax rate is 0.518 per $100 of assessed value.

| 12 Apr 2022 | 12:33

    The Sussex County Commissioners on April 6 approved its 2022 budget, which calls for a 2.03 percent increase over the 2021 budget.

    The total budget is $117,470,359, which represents a 2 percent increase. The budget carries a tax levy of $99.7 million and the county’s ratable base has increased to $19.1 billion. The estimated tax rate is 0.518 per $100 of assessed value.

    “I am proud of the budget,” Commissioner Chris Carney said. “I think everybody who had their hand in it all the commissioners, (Chief Financial Officer) Elke (Yetter) and (Administrator) Greg (Poff), and the administrators, they do a good job, trying to cut costs where we can, but at the same time, it is important, and people should realize that we need to pay our employees properly.”

    Operations are up $1.8 million from the 2021 budget and 85 percent of that increase is due to those expenses. The line item for the maintenance of the state’s psychiatric institutions is about $1.2 million, up from about $802,000 last year. Insurance covers 18 percent of the budget.

    The county finished 2021 with a fund balance of $18.9 million, or 14.1 percent. The anticipated fund balance used in the 2022 budget is $7.2 million, a $1 million increase over the last year.

    The county’s 2022 capital program comes in at about $24.9 million and new debt is authorized not to exceed $8.97 million, which is below the county commissioners’ $10 million borrowed limit.

    Pensions account for 21 percent of the budget, while utilities and other expenses are about 2 percent. Education is about 10 percent of the budget; public works is 12 percent and public safety is about 18 percent.

    Kenneth Collins of Andover thanked the commissioners for toeing the line on the budget.

    “I think you guys did a great job of that,” he said. “It’s not easy, and I wanted to take a moment to also encourage you to continue to toe the line on the budget and make sure you can deliver a solid budget going forward.”

    2022 Sussex County Budget
    Total Appropriations: $117,470,359
    Budget increase from 2021: $2,341,376.
    Total tax levy: $99,653,238
    Ratable Base: $19.1 billion
    Tax Rate: 0.5218 per $100