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Property tax increase approved in Funkstown

May 26, 2010|By DAVE McMILLION

Editor's note: Due to a reporter's error, the following story that appeared in the May 26, 2010, print edition of The Herald-Mail and posted online May 25 contained incorrect information about the status of a proposed tax increase in the Town of Funkstown. The story should have stated that the Funkstown Town Council agreed to include a proposed 6 cent property tax increase in the town's proposed budget, along with a proposed water rate increase. The budget cannot be approved until a public hearing is held on the spending plan. A story on the budget can be found here.

The Herald-Mail apologizes for the mistake.




FUNKSTOWN -- The Funkstown Town Council on Tuesday night passed a 6-cent property tax rate increase to help the town deal with declining state highway user revenue, expected drops in income taxes and decreases in assessed value of properties in town.

Council members debated whether to pass a 5-cent or 6-cent rate increase before council member John Phillips III made a motion to enact the 6-cent rate increase.

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The town's current tax rate is 22 cents per $100 of assessed value.

State highway user revenue is expected to fall from $46,778 to $4,678 in the coming year and income tax revenue is expected to fall from $68,700 to $60,000, according to a packet distributed to council members by Town Clerk/Treasurer Brenda Haynes.

Council members also talked about other financial issues facing the town, like a deteriorating roof on town hall, which council member Richard Gaver said could cost as much as $30,000 to fix.

Officials at the meeting talked about holes that have started to appear in the roof.

"It's awful scary, I tell you," council member Richard Nigh said.

As council members passed the tax increase, they also talked about ways to cut costs, including reducing the town's deputy service and garbage collection.

Mayor Paul N. Crampton Jr. said he did not have a problem with a tax rate increase for the town as long as the council looks at cost-cutting measures.

"I think everyone here is more than willing to do that," Crampton said.

Council members agreed to have a workshop June 7 at 6 p.m. to further discuss budget issues. Council members are scheduled to meet June 14 to approve a budget for the coming fiscal year.

The proposed budget contains a 4.5 percent water rate hike for town water customers.

The City of Hagerstown, which supplies Funkstown's water, is raising its water rate to the town by 4.5 percent and the town is passing the increase onto customers.

The increase will appear in the Sept. 30 town water bill, council members said.

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