Centreville Town Council approves FY2017 budget
Increases property tax rate by 3 cents
CENTREVILLE — The Town Council of Centreville unanimously passed Ordinance 05-2016 that adopted the town’s Fiscal 2017 budget during its Thursday, June 16, meeting. The general fund, enterprise fund and capital project budgets total $3,551,420, $2,229,003 and $5,577,300, respectively.
Before the budget was adopted, the town held public hearings regarding the constant yield tax rate and the budget itself. The only speaker for either of the two hearings was Queen Anne’s County Republican Central Committee Chairman Tim Kingston, who asked the council not to increase the town’s property tax rate.
The council opted not to use the constant yield rate of $0.3698 per $100 of assessed value, which is the tax rate needed to generate the same amount of revenue as the current year, and chose to increase the current property tax rate by three cents to $0.41 per $100 of assessed value.
“As a Republican here in the county, any type of tax increase, sometimes we actually find it somewhat offensive,
sometimes it’s actually needed,” Kingston said. “I don’t believe in this particular case it’s needed, and we’d like you to revise, review and hopefully rescind this.”
The three-cent property tax rate increase will generate $207,970 in additional property tax revenues for the town, town finance officer Martha Darling Sparks said. The ordinance also set the town’s utility tax rate to $2.11 per $100 of assessed value.
Expenditures in the general fund budget are as follows: legislative, $32,150; planning and zoning, $45,700; general government, $937,925; public safety, $1,241,637; emergency ser vices, $45,000; roads, $939,685; solid waste, $282,535; parks and recreation, $41,293; Main Street, $15,600; cemeter y, $20,965; and $6,850 for watershed.
Darling Sparks said $10,000
will go toward code enforcement services; a $26,000 increase related to a grant writer, economic development, codification and accounting fees; $165,000 in additional debt ser vice related to road and park improvements with more than half the cost coming from a proposed refinancing of an existing loan with lower interest; $36,000 related to a $1,200 increase for each town employee; $40,000 increase related to career ladder promotions; $30,000 increase in health care costs; and $21,000 increase in workers compensation insurance.
General fund capital expenditures include $40,300 for new financial software; $74,000 for building improvements and the replacement of a Centreville Police Department vehicle; $2.2 million for road improvements proposed to be funded by a bond issuance; $273,000 for park improvements; and $90,000 for mobile equipment for the department of public works, Darling Sparks said.
Darling Sparks said funding of the general fund and the general fund capital budgets will be obtained through the proposed bond issuance, transfers from the general fund balance reserves as well as the current year’s general fund revenues.
Highlights of the enterprise fund capital projects budget include a $2.5 million increase for waste water and infrastructure improvements, $270,000 for waste water collection system improvements and $65,000 for a new UV System replacement, she said.
“One thing I’d like to note is that we, staff, within the last week, [the] town manager has entered into a contract to reduce a three-year contract for electricity supply that Councilman (Jim) Beauchamp was also involved in initiating, and that’s going to save the town approximately $15,000 per year,” Darling Sparks said. “So, even though this budget was still in place, staff was still working to find ways to lower costs, and they are still in that process.”
She said that the town held 10 budget work sessions as well as numerous meetings between Town Manager Steve Walls, and the department heads. She said staff began with a needs-based budget, which was reviewed and revised, and then staff provided the council with lists of “expenditures associated with various items that would affect the efficiency and, ultimately, the levels of services provided by the town.”
Town Councilmen George “Smokey” Sigler and Tim McCluskey thanked the town staff for their work in the budget process.
“I know it was a long, arduous process ... and thanks to all of you for doing such a great job in that regard,” Sigler said.
To view the fiscal 2017 budget in its entirety, visit town’s website, www.townofcentreville.org, and select “Finance” on the left side of the home page.
Follow Mike Davis on Twitter: @ mike_kibaytimes.
Tim Kingston, chairman of the Queen Anne’s County Republican Central Committee, spoke out against the Town of Centreville increasing taxes during the constant yield tax rate hearing before the Fiscal Year 2017 budget was passed on Thursday, June 16.