Tax rate to stay flat in Sylva

Sylva residents won’t see a tax increase this year, but despite the proposed budget’s 15 percent spending increase over 2018-2019, purse strings will remain tight. 

Sylva forecasts a tight budget year

Two years after the Sylva town board enacted a 42 percent increase in the city’s property tax rate, budget time has found the town without any extra cash to work with. In fact, Sylva will have to take $236,000 from its reserves in order to cover needed expenditures. 

Budget gap $3 million for Haywood County

Although it’s still early in the budget process, Interim Haywood County Manager Joel Mashburn told commissioners that requests for the FY 2018-19 budget already total more than $3 million over projected revenues. 

Small increase in Haywood schools budget

Haywood County’s high-performing public schools will see a small budget increase for the FY 2018-19 school year, but at the same time takes care of some critical needs, including teacher supplement pay that helps attract and retain the best instructors. 

Swain settlement money part of Trump’s budget

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget calls on Congress to fund the overdue remaining balance of $39.2 million owed to Swain County from the North Shore Road settlement agreement made with the federal government back in 2010. 

Breaking the backlog: Deferred maintenance in the billions for national parks

Drawing more than 300 million visitors each year, the National Park Service is both a reservoir of natural beauty and an economic anchor for the communities surrounding its lands — and many of those communities are now banding together to demand that Congress address the parks’ $11.3 billion maintenance backlog.

“To know what this means to us — the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park — and for us to have to ask them for some sustainable revenue to keep these parks going, it’s almost like asking somebody to take care of their baby,” Jackson County Commissioner Boyce Dietz said before the board unanimously passed a resolution in favor of sustained funding Dec. 18, 2017.

Jackson ponders pool repairs

The Sylva pool saw $100,000 in repairs before opening this summer, but more work is on the way to get the facility up to snuff for the years to come.

School improvement costs rise in Jackson

Rising construction costs are causing problems for Jackson County Schools as it attempts to complete $9 million of much-needed capital upgrades. With projects out for bid and work underway, estimates are showing that it will cost 25 percent more than expected — $2.22 million — to carry out the original construction plan.

Jackson commissioners and elections boards disagree over budget authority

The Jackson County Board of Elections’ attempt to exert a new level of independence from the county commissioners resulted in an hour-long — and, at times, contentious — meeting between the two boards July 11.

Waynesville discretionary spending reveals trends

In each year’s budget, the Town of Waynesville makes discretionary special appropriations contributions to a plethora of local nonprofits that help support everything from festivals to food for seniors.

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