U.S. Forest Service rangers got an earful from Swain County residents last week during a public hearing regarding the proposed Forest Management Plan.
Each year, counties and municipalities must pass their upcoming year’s budget by July 1.
A recovering economy and low unemployment along with a 30 percent increase in tourist spending since 2011 has kept Haywood County in decent financial shape, but a few large expenses — married with the everyday needs of a 60,000-resident county — means a tax hike may be coming.
While many local school districts are struggling to make ends meet these days, Swain County Schools is facing a much steeper battle to qualify for state and federal funds the district feels its students deserve.
“We’re struggling as most boards are trying to look at our financial situation and fund things we crucially need,” said Superintendent Sam Pattillo.
Sylva is just starting budget planning for 2017-18, but this year’s process promises to be less arduous than last year’s, when revenue uncertainty and the need for a tax rate increase clouded the enterprise.
Canton officials and town staff met for four hours Feb. 16 to discuss achievements and goals, but will have to spend even more time discussing revenues and expenditures.
After months of back-and-forth, Harris Regional Hospital and Jackson County have reached an agreement on the hospital’s tax value.
Harris Regional Hospital saw its tax value slashed by 36 percent in the minutes before Jackson County’s Board of Equalization Review adjourned for the year, and while its new $27.2 million value is still more than twice the $13 million the hospital had argued it was worth, it’s quite a drop from the original $42.3 million appraisal.
• Affordable housing issues on Haywood County’s horizon
• Habitat houses give people hope
• Old hospital’s rehab into low-income housing falls flat
• Affordable housing development looks for resources
• Self-build program empowers low-income families
• Some look to downsized housing for personal freedom, financial security
Anecdotal accounts of a tight housing market have long swirled about Haywood County, but a quick look at hard data shows why a task force has been studying the issue of affordable housing since March.