Budget holds tax line

May. 20, 2013 @ 09:41 PM

The 2014 Thomasville budget offers no property tax increase, but water and sewer customers may see a hike. 
The budget City Manager Kelly Craver offered Monday to City Council keeps the property tax rate  at 56 cents per $100 valuation and the supplemental school tax rate at 18 cents to raise about $1.3 million for the schools.  The water and sewer rate is slated to increase by about 3.59 percent in line with the city’s current rate study that identified about $14.5 million in infrastructure capital needs over the next five years and a proposed schedule to raise water and sewer rates to help offset the cost of the infrastructure projects.
With little growth in tax revenues, the new budget grows slightly to $38.1 million.
“We think this is a good year,” Craver said. “There is no tax increase. The water-sewer rate increase is part of the five-year study. The revenue picture looks great. There is a 1.5 percent increase in property valuation and a very slight increase in sales tax of about 1 percent. It is going in the right direction.”
If City Council approves, city employees would get a 2 percent cost-of-living salary increase, but no merit raises. There are no planned staff layoffs or furloughs and no positions are frozen. Council members earlier said they did not want to accept a recommended raise in their fixed compensation. Council earlier recommended that their raise amount, which was estimated at about $2,250, could be used toward the purchase of the tablet devices.
The new budget creates a capital reserve fund for infrastructure at $150,000 and has a set aside of 1/2-cent of the general fund tax for economic development. The economic development fund of $647,000 goes into the operation of the Davidson County Economic Development Commission. 
The budget also contributes $16,500 to the Thomasville Rescue Squad, $25,000 to PACE Group, $30,000 to City Beautification, $40,000 to economic development and $1,500 to the Davidson County Arts Council.
“We think the preparation went very well this year and we are happy with the process,” Craver said.

Proposed Thomasville Budget
Total:  $38.1 million
Property Tax rate: 56 cents per $100 valuation. The owner of a $100,000 house would pay $560 a year.
Revenues: Property tax, $9.4 million; sales tax, $5 million; utility franchise, $1.4 million.
Debt Service: $684,000, or 3.4 percent of the general fund. Outstanding debt is $44.3 million.
Public hearing:  7 p.m. June 3 in council chambers.