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Property tax hike might be on tap in Funkstown

April 26, 2010|By JULIE E. GREENE
  • Brenda Haynes, clerk and treasurer for the Town of Funkstown
File photo,

FUNKSTOWN -- Funkstown residents could see an increase in their property tax rate for the first time in at least 20 years.

A special meeting of the mayor and Town Council will be held Monday, May 17, at which the council is expected to vote to introduce a proposed property tax rate increase.

The amount of the increase has not been decided, though town officials discussed the possibility of raising it 5 cents or more during a Monday night work session at Town Hall.

They also are looking at expenses they can cut to prevent or limit a tax increase, but much of the talk Monday centered around how much of a tax increase is needed.

A public hearing would be held on any proposed property tax increase before the council would vote on it.

A time for the May 17 meeting at Town Hall was not set.

The town election is May 3, and the newly elected mayor and two council members will be sworn in May 10.

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Town Clerk/Treasurer Brenda Haynes said she would prepare a couple versions of a proposed budget, getting them to the mayor and council before the May 17 meeting.

Assistant Mayor Paul N. Crampton Jr. asked Haynes to prepare one that includes keeping a deputy's services for the town and replacing an old maintenance truck, and a budget without those items.

Town officials are considering a tax increase because of a 7 percent decrease in the assessed value of property in town and a new county property tax structure.

Property owners in town will see a decrease in their Washington County property tax rate with the fiscal year starting July 1. That decrease is part of a new tax structure that eliminates the tax rebate, or setoff, in which the county returned money to municipalities each year for overlapping services.

Funkstown's property tax rate is 22 cents per $100 of assessed value.

Crampton said a 5-cent increase in the town's tax rate would probably cover the revenue losses from the drop in assessments and the county tax change.

Councilman Kim Ramer asked his fellow council members if they just wanted the town to cover the lost revenue or have some extra money in the bank.

Town Hall is in need of major repairs, including a new roof and replacement of nine windows, Crampton said.

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