Erwin Property owners in for 5-cent tax increase

Sue Guinn Legg • Jul 31, 2017 at 10:24 PM

ERWIN — The Erwin Board of Mayor and Aldermen wrapped up its 2017-18 budget negotiations Monday with an agreement to increase property taxes by 5 cents.

The board will vote on the tax increase in its first-reading approval of the budget scheduled for its next regular meeting Aug. 14 and in a second- reading approval and public hearing on the budget set for Aug. 28.

With this year’s reappraisal of property values slightly increasing overall property values in Erwin, the town’s tax rate for the coming year was slated to drop from its current $1.41 to $1.397 per $1,000 of assessed value.

With the 5-cent increase included in the budget, the tax rate will instead rise to $1.447, or up about $7 annually for the average $200,000 home value in Erwin compared to last year.

With each penny of the tax rate generating $12,764 in revenue, the tax increase provided $63,820 in additional revenue for the proposed 2017-18 budget.

With the additional property tax revenue, $50,000 diverted from the town’s undesignated fund balance, $170,000 in savings from debt refinancing and projected increases in utility revenues, the $6.7 million budget will provide services including:

• Three new police cars.

• A new multi-use dump truck for the Public Works Department.

• New fire equipment.

• A 3 percent across-the-board pay raise for town employees.

• Approximately $150,000 in street paving and striping.

• Approximately $200,000 in match funding for $2.2 million in grant-funded capital projects.

• About $176,000 for nonprofit and intergovernmental services, including the community’s public library, 911 system and animal shelter.

• $60,000 in salary and benefits for a new full-time building inspector’s position and $30,000 in salary and benefits for a new communications specialist position.

Expenditures added to the budget Monday included a new computer archive for Town Hall and landscaping improvements for the Erwin skate park and playground and for the town’s interstate exits.

Email Sue Guinn Legg at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @sueleggjcpress. Like her on Facebook at facebook.com/sueleggjcpress.