BEAUFORT, S.C. (May 19, 2021) – City Manager Bill Prokop’s recommended operating budget of $23,769,178 for Fiscal Year 2022, which was presented to City Council at its May 18 Work Session, includes a reduction in property taxes and reflects the City’s expectation that tourism will rebound in the coming year.
“The Covid-19 pandemic will have a long-lasting impact on our community, the county, the state and the world,” Prokop said during his presentation. “However, this summer, with vaccines readily available, hospitalizations down, and our most vulnerable fully vaccinated, we are optimistic that we will see a strong rebound of our local economy.”
The $23.7 million comes in at 3.24% over the FY 2021 budget, and includes a 1.1 millage reduction, which means that homeowners will pay less in property tax. The City’s Parks and Tourism Fund and State Accommodations Fund are expected to increase as accommodations and hospitality taxes begin to grow with more tourists and visitors.
The budget reflects no new debt.
At the presentation, Finance Director Kathy Todd said that the City was expecting to receive approximately $5 million from the American Rescue Plan, which was passed earlier this year by Congress and includes funds for states, counties and cities impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The City is still awaiting final guidance from the federal government about how those funds can be used. Of that amount, approximately $80,000 is configured into the FY 2022 budget to offset financial losses related to the pandemic.
At Work Session, Mayor Stephen Murray thanked Prokop and the staff for a “reasonable and conservative budget.”
A public hearing and first reading of the budget ordinance are scheduled for the June 8 Regular Meeting. The second and final reading of the budget ordinance is scheduled for the June 22 Regular Meeting. The fiscal year begins July 1 and ends June 30, 2022.
Public comments during these sessions can be made in person or through the Zoom link posted at the top of each agenda.
The proposed budget can be found here.