Davidson budget holds the tax line

May. 20, 2013 @ 05:16 PM

Property owners won’t see their taxes increase, but all residents could see fee increases next year, according to the proposed 2014 Davidson County budget.

The county’s property tax rate is projected to remain at 54 cents per $100 valuation, but sewer rates could go up as much as 9 percent to cover wastewater treatment provider increases. Also, ambulance fees and inspection fees are expected to increase slightly, according to the proposed budget.
“This is a conservative budget,” County Manager Robert Hyatt told the Davidson County Board of Commissioners recently. “We have found new ways to do things.”
Budget expenses total $122.6 million, up just 2.2 percent. Tax collections are expected to be up slightly with sales tax proceeds tracking ahead of what was budgeted this year, Hyatt said in his report.
“When all revenues are totaled through June 30, 2013, the county should have no problem making budget,” he said.
Hyatt said he assumed that county operation of the landfill would continue for the next year with five fewer employees. Commissioners are considering privatizing some operations as well as sanitation and recycling programs. The landfill budget is $3.5 million, down $1.5 million.
County employees would get a 1.5 percent salary increase. The county provided a 2 percent cost-of-living increase this year.   Unfortunately, the raise was negated by the federal payroll tax rate hike.
“We’re just trying get our employees back to even to where they have been in prior years,” Hyatt said.
Overall, the budget has a net cut of five positions, but the Department of Social Services will get two additional positions because of caseload increases, Hyatt said. The county schools and Davidson County Community College would receive a total of $36.8 million, up $631,000.
Four rural fire departments want a tax increase. Gumtree Fire and Rescue wants a 1.5-cent fire district tax rate increase per $100 of valuation. Fair Grove Fire Department is seeking an .5-cent increase and Wallburg Fire Department wants a 2-cent increase.  Horneytown Fire Department is seeking a 1-cent increase per $100 valuation.

Highlights

• Tax rate: 54 cents per $100. The owner of a $100,000 house would pay $540 a year in property taxes.  One penny in property tax equals $1.2 million.
• Budget total: $152.8 million from all funds; general fund, $122.6 million.
• Tax base: $12.9 billion
• Revenues: $119.7 million, up 2 percent. Property taxes account for $67.6 million of the total.
• Public Hearing: May 28, Davidson County Government Center, Lexington