Archived Story

It’s budget season, and time for you to act

Published 9:11am Saturday, May 17, 2014

Franklin and Southampton County are both working on their budgets for the 2014-15 fiscal year.

And of course the Franklin and Southampton public school systems are in the same process, though they are already approved by their respective boards and are awaiting to see what the city and county will do.

The budget public hearing for Southampton County will take place on Monday, May 19. Franklin’s budget public hearing will take place on Monday, June 2.

Whether it’s the schools, construction or raising taxes, this budget process affects you.

The local school systems are battling with more vigorous state tests and accreditation with warning statuses in six of the local schools (Capron, Riverdale, S.P. Morton, J.P. King, Southampton Middle School and Franklin High School).

Both systems are asking for more money than they have in the past. In Franklin, they are asking for additional money to provide teachers with a 2-percent raise in hopes of cutting down turnover. Southampton County is looking to add new teacher positions in several schools, plus a new IT technician. They are also looking to add a 2 percent cost of living adjustment for personnel.

Work on the roads is sometimes inconvenient, but definitely necessary. It’s your time to explain the work needed on your route.

And taxes. Nobody wants raised taxes. It’s time to tell them if you can or cannot afford it, depending on whatever project it is that they want funded via taxes.

In Franklin, a tax increase has not been directly proposed yet, though the topic has come up. In Southampton County, they are proposing a tax increase of 2 cents to support the fire departments and emergency medical services.

And there are plenty of other reasons that we are sure you can think of if you take the time to look at your respective budget. The Southampton County budget has already ran in the paper, and the Franklin City budget will be in as soon as they have dotted their i’s and crossed their t’s.

The Southampton County budget is also available online at http://www.southamptoncounty.org/. And for updates on both, continue reading The Tidewater News.

If you aren’t there and don’t speak your mind, they’ll never know, and they won’t be able to effectively represent you.

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