Most Holly Springs residents are unlikely to pay more to the town under a recently proposed town budget.
Town Manager Chuck Simmons has proposed a $42.9 million spending plan for fiscal year 2015-16 that keeps property taxes and utility fees the same for all residents. The proposal is about $3.9 million higher than the current budget.
If the Holly Springs Town Council approves Simmons’ proposal, most residents will continue paying:
▪ A property tax rate of 43.5 cents per $100 valuation
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▪ A combined water and sewer rate of $7.30 for every 1,000 gallons they use each month
▪ A garbage collection fee of $9.50 a month
▪ A recycling fee of $4.25 a month
▪ A yard waste fee of $2 a month, and
▪ A monthly stormwater fee of $3 per month.
The town may increase development fees, rental fees, fire inspection fees and cemetery plot fees, Simmons said. The council will discuss those potential fee increases at a budget work session on May 27.
The town expects to hold public hearings on the budget at a Town Council meeting on June 2 or June 16.
The proposed $31 million general fund operating budget is an increase from the $29.7 million budget for the current year.
Holly Springs can afford to expand its general fund operating budget by 4.37 percent without a tax increase because its tax base grew by about 4.6 percent within the last year, Simmons said.
However, Simmons noted that Holly Springs leaders might need to revise the proposal if the North Carolina General Assembly passes bills before July, when the fiscal year begins, that might affect the town’s revenue streams.
“There are bills that are being circulated in Raleigh that if approved in their current language would have tax increase implications for the residents of Holly Springs,” Simmons told the council at its May 5 meeting.
One proposal, Senate Bill 369, would strip Holly Springs of $1.6 million in annual sales tax revenue if passed in its current form, Simmons said. That loss in revenue is equal to a property tax increase of 4 to 5 cents.
Holly Springs Councilman Jimmy Cobb, a Certified Public Accountant, said he’s happy with the budget proposal and doesn’t plan on suggesting any major changes.
“It’s a good, lean budget number for the general fund,” Cobb said.
But he worries about what the state legislature might do. State lawmakers last year voted to eliminate the privilege license tax, which hurt many larger municipalities.
The move didn’t affect Holly Springs in a major way. But it will cost Cary $1.5 million in revenue next fiscal year and Cary’s Town Manager has proposed a 1-cent property tax increase to compensate for the revenue loss.
Holly Springs leaders hope the legislature doesn’t put them in a similar position.
“I’m hoping that they won’t do it but I just don’t know,” Cobb said. “It seems like there’s a 50/50 chance that it could happen.”