Granite Quarry could see tax hike

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 2, 2011

By Mark Wineka
GRANITE QUARRY ó Town Manager Dan Peters presented a 2011-12 budget Monday night that would hit the pocketbooks of residents hard if fully implemented.
But the Granite Quarry Board of Aldermen wonít tackle the proposal until it holds a public hearing and budget work session at 5 p.m. May 23.
Aldermen accepted the proposed budget without comment Monday.
The $1.86 million budget calls for a 7-cents-per-$100 valuation property tax increase. That would raise Granite Quarryís tax rate, one of the lower municipal rates in Rowan County, from 33 cents per $100 valuation to 40 cents per $100 valuation.
It also would increase residentsí monthly solid waste fee from $8 to $10.
The increase in taxes would pay for extra costs in the Police Department for a car, fuel and part-time officer (2.1 cents on the rate); in the Fire Department for truck, ordinance enforcement and fuel (2.4 cents); and to make up for the loss in property valuation to keep things revenue neutral (2.5 cents).
ěFuel is driving the entire budget,î Peters said.
Of the $2 increase on the solid waste fee, $1 would go for increased fuel costs and $1 toward paying for a part-time maintenance employee, so there could be more limb pickup and removal, mowing and other services.
Peters said a median home in Granite Quarry is valued at $160,000. If the board approved the 4.5 cents on the tax rate to cover increased fire and police costs, it would translate to an additional $72 a year for that property owner, or $6 a month.
That would not include the $2-a-month increase in solid waste fees, putting the additional municipal costs for the owner of a $160,000 home at $8 a month.
Keeping the budget revenue neutral ó the same funding level as last year with the loss in property valuation figured in ó would cost the same homeowner $40 more a year, or $3.33 a month.
In other business Monday night, aldermen approved a resolution for the $450,000 financing of the Brookwood Drive culvert and a utility project. The town will finance the work through F&M Bank at 3.99 percent interest over a 15-year period. Peters said the payments each year will be roughly $40,000.
Powell Bill funding from the state will go toward paying $375,000.
Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.