Town Manager Roger Stancil proposed a $57.9 million operating budget on Monday that gives town employees at least a 3 percent raise and avoids a property-tax increase.
The current tax rate for Chapel Hill property owners is 51.4 cents per $100 of assessed property value. The town tax bill would remain $1,542 for a home valued at $300,000.
Town residents also pay county and school district taxes set by the Orange County Board of Commissioners. The county hasn’t released its proposed budget for the 2014-15 budget year, which begins July 1.
The Town Council will hold a public hearing on its proposed budget on May 19 and could vote to adopt the spending plan on June 9.
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Stancil’s budget increases the town’s stormwater fee by 75 cents. The fee, if approved, would be $24.75 a year for every 1,000 square feet of impervious surface.
The proposed budget also dedicates a quarter-cent of the town’s tax rate to affordable-housing projects – one of the council’s goals for next year. One penny of the town’s tax rate raises roughly $729,000. Stancil said $188,000 could be set aside next year for affordable housing.
If approved, the budget would be nearly 6 percent more than this year’s $54.8 million budget, which included a 2-cent property tax increase to support the town’s general fund and Chapel Hill Transit.
Stancil’s recommendation for 2014-15 also allocates money to several town funds that pay for Chapel Hill Transit services, the town’s debt and other needs. The town’s share of next year’s proposed transit budget is $20.5 million. Carrboro and UNC-Chapel Hill also pay a share of the local transit costs, which have grown in recent years because of state and federal funding cuts.
The partners have a study underway to find ways of financing the fare-free transit system in the future.
The town also is wrestling with how to pay for $183 million in planned capital improvement projects, millions in retiree benefits and the future of recycling and solid-waste services. The town could seek a voter-approved bond to finance some of those projects by 2017, town business management director Ken Pennoyer said.