The Transylvania Times -

Proposed City Budget Calls For Tax Increase - Brevard, NC

 

May 18, 2017



Brevard City Manager Jim Fatland’s proposed budget for the 2018 fiscal year calls for a tax increase of 1.5 cents, which would raise the tax from 48 cents to 49.5 cents.

Fatland presented his $28 million budget at Brevard’s City Council meeting on Monday night.

“The primary reason for the tax increase is to go to the fire department,” Fatland said.

“The fire department is showing an increase because of the night staffing proposal we brought to city council to add 5 p.m. to midnight to their services,” Fatland said. “Currently, we have two full-time fire fighters from other fire departments and we pay them part time wage, and we’d like to take that service to midnight and by doing so we’d go from 57 percent covered to 90 percent covered if that is approved by the city and the county this year.”

Expenditures

Fatland said the capital outlay is $11.6 million, 40 percent of the total budget, which is mostly designated for water and sewer projects.

The debt service is $1 million, 4 percent of the budget. He said 85 percent of that is for water, sewer and the Brevard Fire Department’s debt.

Revenue

Fatland said one of the success stories the city has had over the years is an increase in sales tax revenue.

“If you go back to the fiscal year 2011, we had a million dollars in sales tax revenue coming in,” Fatland said. “We are projecting this year to be about $1.4 million dollars, so that’s good news for the general fund.”

Fatland added that sales tax is up $120,000.

“We are borrowing about $100,000 less than last year,” he said.

In the general fund, Fatland said “roughly” half of the revenue is from property taxes, and sales tax contributes about 15 percent.

Fatland added that the city has “embarked” on rebuilding the sewer system.

“The city has invested over $20 million over the past several years,” Fatland said. “As a result, our city streets have been torn up.”

Fatland reported that the FY18 budget includes $800,000 in street paving, which he said is four times the amount from last year.

Mayor Jimmy Harris said he is pleased with the city’s street pavement schedule.

“Truthfully, back in 2003, city council was looking at raising taxes to pave some of these streets, and I begged them not to,” Harris said. “The Ecusta Plant and DuPont had closed, and we had the dubious distinction of having the highest unemployment in the state, and I begged city council not to raise taxes on people without jobs.”

However, Harris said that might have been the wrong move.

“And the reason being is, it’s costing a lot more to repair some of these roads than it would have then, but I will tell you we have saved dollars, and we have a very brilliant finance director and manager, and we found the dollars so we are going to pave some roads this year,” Harris said.

 
 

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