Beaufort County plans: A $4 million property reassessment loss foretold

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During the Beaufort County Council retreat on Thursday, it was discussed that the 2014 reassessment could cause an all too familiar topic to return: budget shrinkage.

Namely a revenue dip for the county--$4 million less than what we're used to.

County Assessor Ed Hughes' presentation demonstrated that there could be a 10 to 20 percent decrease in property values.

So how will the county prepare for this possible dip in revenue? The first step was dividing county services into two categories: "essential" and "non-essential". Those essential services include emergency medical services, correctional services, work on public roads, law enforcement, and the like. Non-essential services include, according to Beaufort County attorney Josh Gruber, those items that don't have legal requirements or funding. This includes mosquito control and animal shelters.

"It was not an examination of which program is more important," said County Council Chairman Weston Newton´╗┐. "It was simply an examination of when the law says 'you will spend money on this' and does not give you the option not to."

Get all the details over at The Island Packet's report here.