The County Audit cam back with smooth sailing for the way Botetourt manages its money and keeps its books. Corbin Stone of Robinson, Farmer and Cox presented the annual Audit findings to the Botetourt Board of Supervisors. One clear picture from the variety of graphs is the deep decrease in state funding to education in Botetourt County pictured in the graph. Look at the top of the page. The orange line represents state funding and the blue line local funding. As the General Assembly has whacked the education funds across the state by millions, local funding is rapidly taking the place.
Over the past several years, Botetourt Schools have whittled millions out of the budget. But as School Board Chair Ruth Wallace stated earlier this month, “We have slashed to the bare bones.” The school budget faces a 2.5 million dollar short fall thus far in the budget process for 2012-13.
The rapidly shrinking state dollar is forcing many communities to impose higher tax rates on real estate for instance to make up for the loss, while the state continues to tax at the same rate with out returning much to the local arena.
Sometime in the near future a new County Administrator will be named for Botetourt. All of the funding shortfalls will soon have a new audience and solutions will have to be found. Stone commended the Board and county for their fiscal policies but he also commented he new there are rough times ahead.