July Marks the Start of Town's New Budget Year

July 2024

Welcome to our new year — our new fiscal year, that is!

As of July 1, the Town of Hilton Head Island's annual budget cycle has begun. I am proud to announce that we approved the town's $166.9 million consolidated budget for fiscal year (FY) 2025, once again without increasing property taxes. Our community thrives because we adopt budgets that support our policies and programs, ensuring we continue delivering high quality public services to our residents, businesses, workforce, and visitors.

The FY 2025 budget, effective through June 30, 2025, maintains Hilton Head Island's millage rate at a low 21.4 mills. This budget advances the town council's priorities, including beach renourishment, growth management, workforce housing, traffic and transportation solutions, infrastructure enhancements, economic development, resiliency, recreation, and public safety. The budget is composed of six funds. For those interested in a deeper dive into the numbers and budget priorities beyond the snapshot I provide in this column, I encourage you to visit the town's website at hiltonheadislandsc.gov/budget/FY2025/ for detailed information, presentations, and video overviews by Town Manager Marc Orlando.

Here are the quick highlights from our six funds:

General Fund: $60.9 million

This fund covers the Town's basic operations, public safety, and affiliated agency funding. Some of the key allocations include:

  • Fire Rescue operations: Professional development, fleet management, repairs, and maintenance.
  • Continued support for Sewer Connection and Home Safety and Repair programs.
  • Short-term Rental Program, town code compliance, beach operations, and public safety.
  • Workforce housing and land acquisition priorities.
  • The second annual BMI Island Jams songwriter festival.
  • Support for affiliated agencies: Island Recreation Association, Heritage Classic Foundation, University of South Carolina Beaufort Event Management/Ambassadors, 14th Circuit Solicitor, Coastal Discovery Museum, Historic Mitchelville, Beaufort County Economic Development Corporation, Sea Turtle Patrol HHI, and Lowcountry Rural Transportation Authority (Palmetto Breeze).

Capital Projects Fund: $74.4 million

This fund focuses on highly visible projects for our pathways, roadways, beaches, parks, facility and equipment, feet, land acquisition and stormwater. A few examples of budgeted items are:

  • $10.3 million for corridor safety and functionality improvements, including dirt road acquisition and paving; roadway enhancements (William Hilton Parkway and Main Street); and landscape, lighting, and safety enhancements.
  • $5.5 million for construction of new pathway segments (Jonesville Road, William Hilton Parkway, Dunnagan's Alley, Cordillo Parkway at Pope Avenue).
  • $21.6 million for beach maintenance and improvements, including the start of beach renourishment.

Stormwater Utility Fund: $7.5 million

This fund supports resiliency planning and routine and corrective maintenance of stormwater infrastructure, protecting the island from flooding, safeguarding watersheds, and sustaining water quality.

Housing Fund: $4 million

This fund supports initiatives such as:

  • Northpoint Public Private Partnership
  • Muddy Creek neighborhood stabilization
  • Bryant Road Public-Private Partnership
  • Town's partnership in the Beaufort-Jasper Housing Trust

Debt Service Fund: $16.7 million

Key elements include:

  • $12.6 million for debt reduction.
  • Maintaining the current 5.5 debt service millage rate to keep property taxes low.
  • Establishing a mid-island tax increment finance district.

Gullah Geechee Historic Neighborhoods Community Development Corporation Fund: $3.4 million

This fund continues supporting the organization's operations and community investment, focusing on economic opportunity and quality of life improvements for historic neighborhoods. It includes loans for small business development, neighborhood and community development, and capital outlay for land/easement acquisitions and public infrastructure.

Mayor Alan Perry

Mayor Alan Perry

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