Budget plan holds tax line

Staff WriterApril 21, 2006 

  • $49.2 MILLION - Recommended general fund for Chapel Hill, which pays for everything from police officers to trash collectors to lifeguards.

    $14.1 MILLION - Recommended transit fund for the bus system.

    $31,000 - Recommended addition to pay for on-demand online streaming of Town Council meetings.

    5 - Recommended number of additional police officers to patrol downtown.

— Town Manager Cal Horton's recommended budget for the 2006-07 fiscal year calls for no increase in the property tax rate.

The rate of 52.2 cents per $100 of assessed property value would stay the same if the Town Council approves it as is, despite $2.9 million more in spending than in the current fiscal year.

The owner of a $200,000 house would pay $1,044 in town property taxes under the plan.

Downtown property owners would pay more under Horton's proposal, however.

The manager wants a 3.8-cent increase in the extra tax levied in the downtown commercial district, bringing the tax rate to 9.1 cents per $100. The increase would offset a loss in revenue from free on-street parking on Saturdays and pay for a groundskeeper dedicated to downtown.

Horton recommends using a $2 million windfall, which occurred because of an accounting change, over the next three fiscal years to help balance the budget. Sales tax revenues also are expected to be $455,000 higher than the estimate for this year.

The council will consider the proposal Monday night. A public hearing is scheduled for May 10, and the council is scheduled to approve a final budget June 26.

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