Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Shavonne Potts
Salisbury Post
LANDIS After making multiple cuts to the towns proposed 2007-08 budget, members of the Landis Board of Alderman still anticipate a tax increase.
The exact amount of the increase remains to be seen.
At the beginning of Mondays budget session, the general fund was short by $501,595.
From the outset, the plan was to provide a 3 percent salary increase for all employees, buy no new vehicles, hire no new full-time employees and purchase no new major items.
As it was drafted, the electric fund was balanced, about $232,000 shy of last years budget. However, the electric rates are to increase by 3 percent. The board had discussed the possibility of such an increase at its annual retreat in March. The increase is coming from ElectriCities. Landis provides its residents electricity. The town is a member of ElectriCities of North Carolina.
The proposed water fund budget, too, was balanced. This balance doesnt come without an increase in monthly meter fees. The fees are tentatively set to increase from $8.60 a month to $10 a month. The water rates are to increase 10 cents, from $6 per 1,000 gallons to $6.10. Next years budget shows a 22.8 percent decrease from the previous year, which equals about $252,000.
The sewer fund as submitted to the board was balanced, with a minimum monthly increase of $1. Specifically itll go from $6 to $7. While sewer rates increased from $7.52 per 1,000 gallons to $7.55 per 1,000 gallons. This budget decreased by 13.33 percent or roughly $114,700.
There was no increase in the storm water fund monthly residential fees will remain at $5 and $10 for businesses.
There was $10,000 in cuts to administrative expenses and the police budget while $15,000 was taken from the fire budget and $40,000 was deleted from street expenses.
After going through the largest expenses from each departments budget requests, the board was left with the realization they would have to cut expenses and increase taxes.
The question yet to be answered was how much of a tax increase residents will see.
Landis revenue-neutral tax rate for the upcoming fiscal year is 28.68 cents per $100 valuation. A few numbers were proposed, including tax rates of 38 cents and 40 cents per $100 valuation. The board made no decision Monday.
The board must establish the tax rate along with any other cuts before the budget is adopted June 30.
The board will conclude its budget session at 6 p.m. June 11.
Contact Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253 or spotts@salisburypost.com.

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