The Benson Board of Commissioners has unanimously approved a 2016-17 budget with no property-tax increase but higher trash-pickup costs.
Commissioners adopted the budget after a public hearing in which no citizen spoke.
While Benson’s property-tax rate of 53 cents per $100 valuation won’t change, town residents will see a few increases.
▪ Golf-cart inspections will go up $5, to $40 per inspection.
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▪ Residential curbside trash collection will go up 68 cents, to $23.34 per month.
The changes go into effect July 1.
Benson plans to take $16,000 from savings to help buy radios for the police department. Grant dollars will help too. Also, the budget adds a firefighter and gives employees merit raises of up to 5 percent.
Benson’s major purchases in the coming year include two police cruisers, three vehicles for the water and sewer department and one truck for the electricity department.
Town Manager Matthew Zapp said the town has seen enough growth in water and sewer sales that it could purchase vehicles for that department using the surplus money.
Zapp said Benson is “seeing sustainable growth” in its water and sewer revent.
In approving a $1.88 million budget for the year ahead, Pine Level leaders increase ther tax rate by two cents, to 46 cents per $100 property valuation.
Four Oaks approved a $2.42 million budget, increasing its rate by four cents, to 42 cents per $100 valuation.
Kenly approved a $3.49 million budget but kept its tax rate at 61 cents. Trash collection in Kenly is increasing by 7 cents a month.
Princeton was scheduled to hold a public hearing on its budget June 20.
Princeton is considering a $1.51 million budget, an increase of about $33,000 over 2015-16, with most of the extra money going to employee pay and benefits. Among other things, the cost of employee health insurance is going up.
Princeton is proposing adding one penny to the tax rate, increasing it to 55 cents per $100 valuation. The increase would bring in about $6,438 in additional revenue. A home valued at $150,000 would pay an additional $15 per year.
Selma isn’t considering a tax increase, but utility customers could pay 3 percent more for sewer and 2 percent more for electricity.
Abbie Bennett: 919-553-7234, Ext. 101; @AbbieRBennett