No tax hike in Murfreesboro

Published 3:03 pm Sunday, June 16, 2019

MURFREESBORO – While other local government entities are studying possible increases in property taxes, do not count the Town of Murfreesboro among that group.

At their regularly scheduled meeting here Wednesday afternoon, the Murfreesboro Town Council approved their 2019-20 operating budget, keeping the tax rate at 66 cents (per $100 of value).

As noted during the budget presentation by Mayor Hal Thomas and Town Administrator Carolyn Brown, the town will operate its overall services during the upcoming fiscal year for a shade over $3.3 million.

The General Fund portion of the budget ($1,979,692) is slightly higher than the current year’s financial spreadsheet ($1,886,888).

Receiving the lion’s share of the budget’s revenue is the town’s Police Department ($756,562). The Sanitation Department will receive $293,000 of taxpayer money to operate in 2019-20.

Other departments slated to receive six figures worth of revenue include Administration ($246,613), Governing Body ($187,476), and the town’s Fire Department ($137,509).

Meanwhile, the newly adopted Enterprise Fund (water and sewer) portion of the 2019-20 budget stands at $1,322,276. That is $900 less than the current year budget.

Within the new Enterprise Fund, the money is budgeted for the operation of the town’s water ($546,806), sewer ($308,363), and wastewater treatment ($467,107).

Prior to adopting the 2019-20 budget ordinance, the Town Council opened the floor for public comments. No one spoke in favor or in opposition of the pending measure.

Afterwards, Mayor Pro-Tem Sarah Wallace motioned for the approval of the budget. Councilwoman Berna Stephens offered a second, and the measure was approved unanimously.

Later in the meeting, during a period set aside for comments from the town’s governing body, Councilman John Hinton praised Brown for her work in building the new budget.

“Carolyn gave me a copy of the budget; she did all the hard work, I just looked over it,” said Hinton, who noted this was the town’s 10th straight year without a tax increase.

“There was a time when I thought we would have to increase property taxes, but low and behold, Carolyn did a fantastic job in keeping our tax rate in line. She is to be commended for her work,” Hinton added.

The newly adopted budget becomes effective July 1.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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