It makes sense for the county to assist nonprofits that provide essential services

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Brunswick County commissioners have a tough job to do again for the upcoming fiscal year. While the economy continues to suffer, the board must determine how it can most efficiently operate county government without making too deep of cuts to essential services.

What makes this year even more challenging is the fact that recent property reassessments have lowered property values from Leland to Carolina Shores and most all points in between.

While officials try to figure out how to keep at least a revenue-neutral budget, they have to talk about the dreaded “T” word—taxes, and unfortunately they’ll also have to spend a lot of time explaining a proposed “increase” that’s on the books.

Although the tax rate is likely to go up from last year to this year, most homeowners will see their individual payout become lower since, in most instances, property values are significantly lower this year compared to last year.

So while officials are pushing numbers, they have to take into consideration a variety of community services and needs. One such request comes from Brunswick County nonprofits.

Now why, you may ask, should county government use your tax dollars to assist nonprofits? Well, because if it’s done correctly, it could ultimately save the county money. By assisting nonprofits that provide essential community services with funding, the county can, in some cases, circumvent the need to provide those services itself.

We have seen county officials take steps to decrease the amount of money it is giving nonprofits. We’re glad to see while belt-tightening is happening across the board, trimming was also done in this area.

For the upcoming fiscal  year, 22 nonprofits requested funding. Of those, only nine may actually get county assistance. Among those are Communities in Schools, Providence Home’s teen crisis shelter, Brunswick Family Assistance emergency assistance program, Hope Harbor home domestic violence victim support, Literacy Council literary tutoring, New Hope Clinic medical services, Brunswick Housing Opportunities Homeward Bound affordable housing program, the Community Boys and Girls Club youth summer activity program and after-school program and Coastal Horizons rape crisis center.

 These nonprofits are valuable to our community and in tough economic times, we’re proud to see our county government continue to stand behind them.