A $3.4 million budget surplus will give a little extra money back to Sussex County taxpayers next year and shore up the county's pension funds
, under a plan approved Tuesday.
The average property owner will receive an $8.30 rebate
, out of a $105 average annual tax bill, officials said.
The County Council had expected a surplus and approved a one-time tax cut this summer -- but it was thought to be only about $1 million, and the amount of the cut was unknown.
The extra $2.4 million that the county ended up with was due in large part to cost-cutting measures that took place through the last fiscal year, including two early-retirement offers, said Finance Director Susan Webb. Every department came in under budget, to the tune of $3.5 million, she said.
Helping to a lesser extent was a $1.6 million bump from the realestate
transfer tax, which is levied when property is sold. That revenue source has shrunk dramatically over the last few years as the housing market has plummeted.