Union County

Monroe, Waxhaw face slight rise in tax rates

Residents of Monroe and Waxhaw may face slight tax increases in the coming fiscal year. But early indications are that residents of Indian Trail, Stallings and Weddington will continue to pay the same ad valorem tax rate.

Monroe Mayor Bobby Kilgore said lower property values from the county’s recent revaluation and the loss of other revenue sources – such as the repealed privilege license tax – prompted the city to propose tax rate increases that will cover the budget losses. He said tax bills will not increase for many residents, whose property values declined during the revaluation.

Interim Finance Director Lisa Strickland said Monroe is working to post the budget online. She emailed a copy of the 107-page document, which included a message from City Manager E.L. Faison.

In his message, Faison said the budget includes a property tax increase, going from the current .555 cents per $100 valuation to .5863 cents – a 5.6 percent increase. The municipal district tax will increase from .20 cents to .219 cents.

Monroe’s proposed total budget, which includes other revenue sources along with ad valorem taxes, would increase 4.7 percent from the 2014-2015 fiscal year -- $149.8 million to $156.9 million.

The city also has adjusted its fee schedule – including fees for parks and recreation, airport usage and building permits. For example, the minimum building permit will be $50, instead of $40.

The Monroe City Council will hold a public hearing on the proposed budget June 2.

Waxhaw

Lost revenue from the county’s revaluation also is prompting Waxhaw’s new town manager, Warren Wood, to propose that the town’s board of commissioners consider slightly increasing the town’s tax rate.

Wood, whose first day as town manager was March 30, had not completed the town’s proposed budget as of May 19, when he was reached for comment. He said his late start date had put him a little behind.

Wood said the town’s current rate is .34 cents, and a revenue-neutral rate – to make up for reduced property values – would be .36 cents. He said he is recommending the board adopt a new tax rate higher than the existing rate, but not exceeding the .36 cent revenue-neutral rate.

“Obviously … it will be their final call,” Wood said.

He said he will have the budget proposal completed by the end of May or early June.

In an email, Town Clerk Melody Shuler said, “The public hearing and final approval of the budget is scheduled for June 23.”

Indian Trail

Indian Trail plans no tax increase, according to documents posted online at the town’s website.

Town Manager Joseph A. Fivas said in his budget message that the town’s tax rate would remain at .185 cents per $100 valuation. The $16.23 million proposed budget – a 30.2 percent increase over the previous year’s budget of $12.46 million – includes a transfer from the general fund of $3.86 million.

Indian Trail’s new budget proposal includes more than $2 million in capital improvements, including road, sidewalk and streetscape projects.

The town’s new budget also includes a revised fee schedule, allowing a 10 percent technology fee to be applied to all new permits, applications and parks and recreation fees beginning July 1.

A public hearing on Indian Trail’s proposed budget is scheduled May 27.

Stallings

Stallings also has no plans to increase its tax rate, according to a budget statement by Town Manager Kevin Woods.

“We recommend the tax rate remain unchanged at $0.215 per $100 valuation to cover the operational budget and capital projects as decided by the town council,” he said in his message.

The proposed 2016 budget is $6.8 million, compared to the 2015 budget of $8 million, when $1.6 million was appropriated from the town’s general fund to cover capital projects.

Stallings has its public hearing on the budget scheduled for May 26.

Weddington

Weddington’s Finance Officer Leslie Gaylord said by email that “there is no proposed change in Weddington’s tax rate for FY2016. It will remain unchanged at $0.052 per $100.”

The town’s $1.86 million budget for 2015-2016 is 26 percent less than its $2.5 million budget last year, when the town budgeted more than $700,000 on capital expenditures related to the purchase of the Providence Volunteer Fire Department’s headquarters on Hemby Road.

The public hearing on Weddington’s budget is scheduled for June 8.

Jane Duckwall is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Jane? Email her at jbduckwall@gmail.com.

See proposed budgets

Links to budget documents:

▪ Weddington (pages 115-119 of the agenda packet for the May 11th meeting):

http://www.townofweddington.com/wp-content/uploads/file/Town%20Council%20Meeting%20Agenda%20Packet%202015-05-11(2).pdf

▪ Indian Trail: http://www.indiantrail.org/departments.php?cat=450

▪ Stallings: http://stallingsnc.org/DocumentCenter/View/391

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