With Sales Tax Revenues In Mind, Cedar Point Board Approves Budget With 3 Cent Tax Increase, No Waste Fees | New
CEDAR STITCH – Cedar Point commissioners on Tuesday night voted 4-0 to pass a budget of $ 1,069,500 for fiscal year 2021-22 with a property tax increase from 3 cents to 14.75 cents per $ 100 of assessed value .
The action came at the monthly town hall board meeting and followed a public hearing in which no one spoke, mainly because the tax increase will not result in a higher tax bill for many homeowners. That’s because the budget also eliminates the $ 175 per year charge for household garbage service, which has been included in the annual tax bill for years.
“The breakeven point is $ 583,325,” City Manager David Rief said. “Anyone whose property is worth less than that and has paid for garbage will see their tax bill go down. “
As of Thursday July 1, the start of the new fiscal year, the garbage service will be paid for by the city through property taxes instead of the royalty, hence the higher tax rate.
There was also another reason for the change. According to Mr. Rief, the higher property tax rate should allow the city to collect more revenue from the state-shared sales tax, which is distributed by Carteret County on the basis of tax levies, in the during the 2022-2023 fiscal year. He estimated that Cedar Point could see as much as $ 55,000 to $ 60,000 in additional sales tax revenue in this fiscal year, including normal growth. This works out to 1.25 to 1.5 cents on the city’s tax rate, the director said.
Either way, Mr Rief said the average city property is worth $ 291,000, and the owner of that property will see a decrease of $ 88.72, to $ 429.80, in the bill for tax for the 2021-2022 fiscal year compared to the current year due to the elimination of the household waste charge.
As to the increase in the total budget, Mr. Rief cited a number of factors, including the increase in the cost of the garbage service by the contractor Waste Industries, an increase in the cost of the city’s contract with the office of the county sheriff for a deputy and some capital expenditure for equipment, such as a public works lawn mower for street rights-of-way.
City clerk Jayne Calhoun said she had received a few phone calls from residents unhappy with the tax increase, but said they understood after explaining that their total bill would likely be lower.
Mayor Pro-Tem Pam Castellano congratulated Mr. Rief, who was promoted this year from city administrator to city manager after the board of directors voted unanimously to change Cedar Point’s charter to a form of board manager government. She said the director “has the ability to see and plan for the future. I think it will benefit the city for years to come.
Commissioner John Nash introduced the motion to approve the budget, more than a month ahead of the Wednesday, June 30 deadline. The board has held only one formal budget work session this year.
“I’m very happy with it,” Nash said of the tax and spending plan. “I think we are on the right track, fiscal stability.”
The budget provides for a 3% cost of living increase for all employees except Mr. Rief, who will receive an 8% – 3% increase in the cost of living and 5% for his promotion.
A city manager heads all departments, while in the city administrator system, commissioners nominally oversee departments. Additionally, a manager can hire and fire all employees without the approval of the board of directors.
The total budget represents an increase of $ 84,500 over the initial operating budget for fiscal year 2020-2021 of $ 985,000. The city’s biggest source of revenue will be property taxes, which are expected to generate $ 597,161.93. The second highest is the sales and use tax, which is expected to provide $ 220,000.
The budget notes that the city expects to pay for its construction and inspection services during the fiscal year, which will potentially net approximately $ 50,000 in costs. Under the existing contract, the county raised approximately $ 70,000 per year for the service.
The city also expects to get $ 35,000 from the state-shared Bill Powell. This money is to be used for street and street related purposes.
This fiscal year, for the first time in years, the City has not used any of its reserve funds to balance the budget, and this policy will continue in the 2021-2022 fiscal year.
Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; send an e-mail to [email protected]; or follow us on Twitter @brichccnt.