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Boonsboro council approves budget with slight tax rate increase

June 03, 2013|By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com

Residents should see little impact in their pocketbooks under a fiscal 2014 budget approved by the Boonsboro Town Council Monday night, according to the town’s manager.

Although the spending plan includes an increase in the town’s property tax rate from 32.2 cents per $100 of assessed value to 34.9 cents, residents should see little change in their tax bill because of low property assessments, Town Manager Debra Smith said.

The tax increase stems from a constant-yield formula that ensures the town will get the same amount of tax revenue it collected in the current fiscal year.

Smith said the town would have lost about $32,000 in the coming fiscal year if the tax rate had not been increased.

Smith went over the highlights of the $1.6 million general fund budget, as well as the water and sewer budgets during a 6:30 p.m. public hearing. No one from the public attended the hearing.

The general budget includes a 3 percent pay increase for town employees; $40,000 for a new police vehicle; $10,000 for computer and software upgrades for the town; and $21,400 for a tractor for the town Public Works Department.

Concerns have been raised about the town’s wastewater treatment plant because there has been no development to help offset the costs of the facility. The plant cost $11.6 million, and the debt on the facility stands at about $7.9 million.

Under the 2014 budget, which was approved in 6-0 vote, the town’s commercial sewage rate will increase from $4 per 1,000 gallons of waste water treated to $4.50 per 1,000 gallons.

That will give the town an additional $8,200 in revenue, Smith said.

There will be no increase in residential sewage treatment rates, Smith said.

The budget, which takes effect July 1, also increases the town’s contribution for ambulance service and the fire department by $1,000. Both services will receive $19,000 in 2014 under the budget.

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