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Proposed county 2025 budget includes a drop in millage rate
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Special to the Herald

SPRINGFIELD – Effingham County’s FY 2025 draft budget cleared its initial hurdle June 4.

The first reading of the proposal, which focuses heavily on capital projects and infrastructure, received unanimous approval during a regularly scheduled Effingham County Board of Commissioners meeting. Adoption is expected June 18.

The $51,662,626 General Fund draft budget features a lower Maintenance & Operations (M&O) millage rate, dropping from FY 2024’s 5.939 to a projected 5.525. That is a cut of more than 7 percent.

If approved, this would equate to a 2 mill decrease – or 27 percent -- over the last three years. A mill equals one-thousandth of a dollar, or one dollar for every $1,000 of a property’s assessed value.

Since the local floating exemption of a primary residence can go up a maximum of 3 percent in one year, most homeowners are likely to notice millage rate relief in their property tax bills.

The General Fund budget plan calls for a net gain of 20 employees. Sixteen are devoted to public safety (four E-911 operators, two paramedics, seven firefighters, three narcotics investigators).

A four percent cost-of-living adjustment for employees is included. In addition, 2 percent merit increases are available at the discretion of department managers.

The General Fund plan is 7.8 percent higher than a year ago. The net growth, however, is only 2 percent after accounting for inflation and a one-time transfer of savings that will be used on capital projects.

Across all funds, more than $150 million is set to be spent.