By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Hall County budget increased by $10M after strong sales tax numbers
Hall County Government Center

Hall County has seen stronger than expected sales tax and property tax revenue over the past six months, and county employees will reap some of the benefits. 

The Hall County Board of Commissioners approved about a $10 million increase in its operating budget for the second half of fiscal year 2022, which ends on June 30. The increase represents a 6.5% increase in the operating budget and about a countywide increase of 2.9%. 

The budget increase includes:

  • A 5% cost of living adjustment for county employees, worth $1.6 million

  • Six new full-time employees

  • Increase in the road resurfacing budget for five more miles of roads

  • Adjustments for inflationary increases 

Sales tax revenue is up about 8.4% compared with this point last year, Assistant County Administrator Zach Propes said, and title ad valorem taxes, which come largely from vehicle sales, are up about 13%. The numbers represent stronger than expected economic growth in the county and a boost from a seller’s car market. 

The latest salary bump for employees is the third such increase in a little more than a year. The county gave employees a 2% bump in January 2021 and another 5% salary increase in July. 

“This recommendation is a good step not only addressing some inflation that we know our employees are having to adjust for but also is a good step towards the ultimate results of the compensation study,” Propes said. The county’s latest compensation study is yet to be finalized. 

The six new positions include three tax-tag clerks, one new budget analyst, one new buyer in the purchasing division and an associate solicitor’s position in the solicitor’s office, Propes said. 

“Additionally, we need to contribute some additional capital contributions into our capital projects fund mainly for increases in some building projects … due to some inflationary increases we’re seeing,” he said. 

The judicial system will also get a big bump from temporary American Rescue Plan Act funds for which the county was recently approved. It will receive $1.68 million for the rest of the calendar year, with the same amount expected to be renewed in 2023 and 2024, Propes said. It involves adding 18 positions for the life of the grant to deal with a backlog of cases caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The county will be able to resurface five more miles of roads, up to 26 miles for the fiscal year, and purchase more heavy equipment as part of a $3.6 million increase to its capital projects fund. 

The Hall County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the budget adjustment.