M’boro tax rate unchanged

Published 9:04 am Thursday, June 10, 2010

MURFREESBORO — Taxes and water rates are proposed to stay the same for town citizens here.

On Tuesday, Interim Town Administrator Hugh Montgomery presented the town’s 2010-2011 proposed budget during a public hearing. The $1.9 million budget will come before the Murfreesboro Town Council at their next meeting for a decision. No comments were made at the public hearing.

In his budget message, Montgomery recommended that the tax rate stay the same at 68 cents per $100 of value and fees for services, including water and sewer, to also remain the same.

Though taxes and service rates are proposed to stay the same, the town is still feeling the effects of the economic recession with declining revenues.

“Traditional revenues from local property taxes and state collected local revenues, with the exception of the utility franchise tax, have been estimated to be less than FY (fiscal year) 2009-10,” said Montgomery.

He added this year’s budget conservatively reflected that estimate.

Montgomery said the budget calls for a contribution from fund balance to the General Fund of $121,409 and of those dollars, $73,100 will be applied to debt service for fire apparatus, police cars and anticipation of additional debt for new police cars. The remainder of the appropriation ($48,390) will cover budgeted operating expenses.

Montgomery noted departmental budgets reflect only minimal increases due to various operational based insurances.

The $1,906,591 operating budget includes $133,210 for Governing Body, $255,830 for Administration, $71,482 for Building and Grounds, $663,346 for the Police Department, $225,092 for Communications, $123,713 for the Fire Department and $21,910 for the Recreation program.

In the Enterprise Fund, $1.26 million is budgeted and of that amount $425,690 is needed for debt repayment with $121,718 (28 percent) relating to interest charges on principal.

“The Enterprise Fund will transfer $51,000 to reimburse the General Fund for accounting, administration and auditing services,” he said.

Mayor Pro-Tem Molly Eubank asked about a waterline project for Union Street.

Montgomery said no capital purchases or projects are listed in the budget and will come before council members on a case by case basis with required funding coming from the undesignated fund balance. An exception to this is a loader bucket for a backhoe which will receive funding from State Street Aid funds.