|
|
Sussex Countian
  • Smyrna Council approves budget with tax increase

    • email print
  • »  RELATED CONTENT
  • The proposed 2013 budget may have spent months down in the Finance Committee, but Smyrna Town Council passed the budget in it's second look as council approved the budget 5-1 Monday night.
    Councilwoman Valerie White voted no while Councilman Jeff Flairty wasn't in attendance.
    The budget includes a two-cent tax increase, two percent pay raise for most employees, $511,000 to be taken out of a general fund reserve, and $289,000 of anticipated revenue that is considered to be restricted spending until March.
    The property tax increase of two-cents per $100 of assessed value puts the property tax at 31 cents, up from last year's property tax rate of 29 cents. A property owner with an assessed property value of $200,000 will see their taxes go up about $40, from $580 to $620 a year.
    There wasn't any discussion on the budget at the meeting, but afterwards Mayor Pat Stombaugh said she is happy to process is over.
    "I'm very happy because I'm exhausted," Stombaugh said.
    The Finance Committee, which Stombaugh is the chair of, has been meeting almost weekly for the past few months. Last week the meeting lasted roughly three hours, most of which was spent discussing the 2013 budget.
    After the committee voted against taking $289,000 out of the Rainy Day Fund, town manager Dave Hugg made the suggestion to put a spending restriction on the $289,000 of anticipated revenue. Hugg said by March the end of year numbers should be in and the town will have a better understanding of where the economy is.
    The committee had a hard time cutting anything from the budget because of a number of projects and equipment hadn't been done or ordered for years due to the economic hard times. Therefore, the $25.8 million spending plan includes ordering heavy equipment, new positions, and several capital projects such as work to Green Meadows and Greens Branch.
    Stombaugh previously said the town has come to a point where they can't continue to push these projects off.
    "For a majority of my term as mayor, it's been cut, cut, cut," Stombaugh said. "The citizens have paid for it and the employees have paid for it. Everybody's done their part. I wish we could resolve this without a tax increase but there's stuff we've put off we truly need. We give a service that the citizens pay for and that's what we need to do."
      • calendar