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China Grove board raises tax rate

By Shavonne Potts
spotts@salisburypost.com
CHINA GROVE ó The town board approved its 2011-12 budget Tuesday that includes a 4 cent tax increase without any discussion from residents.
No one attended the public hearing on the budget. The board briefly talked about the budget during the 30-minute meeting.
The taxes will go from 43 cents to 47 cents to be revenue neutral and generate the same amount of money in the upcoming fiscal year as the tax rate did this year.
The board increased taxes last year by 5 cents, but had not done so previously since the last revaluations.
The staff anticipated a decrease of more than $16.5 million in the tax base and thus the need to achieve revenue neutral status.
ěWe are one penny less that what it would be considered revenue neutral,î Mayor Don Bringle said.
The property taxes are expected to bring in more than $1.1 million. Other forms of revenue streams for the town primarily include sales tax, utility franchise taxes and other general fund revenue.
Councilman Lee Withers said what makes China Grove different is it doesnít have extra fees including garbage and recycling fees.
The town recently contracted with a Rockwell- based company, Crash Morrison Garbage Services Inc. The company will handle curbside garbage pick up and single-stream recycling.
The town has contracted its garbage for the last 25 years and with Waste Management for the last 5 years.
The board is also expected to approve a contract with Salisbury-Rowan Utilities in an effort to reduce its rates.
The town receives water from Salisbury-Rowan Utilities. The town entered into an agreement years ago when it used more water.
When the town no longer used the same amount, it began talks with Salisbury about a possible merger that would reduce its rates.
In February, the board approved a resolution to transfer the water and sewer system to the control of Salisbury.
Residents should see a savings in their utility bills in years to come, Interim Town Manager Ken Deal has said.
The contract between the town and Salisbury-Rowan Utilities is a seven-year, tiered system that would see rates decrease over time.
The board will not meet July 5.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.

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