Salisbury city manager calls for tax hike, fee increase

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 25, 2012

SALISBURY — City Manager Doug Paris recommended increasing Salisbury’s property tax rate by 2 cents — a penny for public safety and a penny for paving.
The increase would put Salisbury’s tax rate at 63.35 cents per $100 of valuation, still lower than the revenue neutral rate that former City Manager David Treme proposed last year, Paris said.
The increase would move four police officers to the city’s payroll. They have been covered by a federal grant that expires next year.
The tax rate hike also would pay to pave the eight worst-ranked streets in the city.
Paris recommended no water-sewer fee increase for the first time in 21 years but said the city needs to create a storm water utility to comply with unfunded federal mandates.
The new three-employee storm water department will require a $4.25 monthly fee for residents, Paris said. The rate for businesses has not been determined.
He also recommended turning the city’s garbage service into a self-sustaining enterprise fund, which would require bumping the fee from $1 per month to $14.06 per month. Garbage service would run like a business and no longer be subsidized by other funds, he said.
Paris recommended a $1,000 raise for employees with a job performance rating of satisfactory or better.
City Council will hold a public hearing June 5 and at least one workshop before voting on the budget.
Read more in Saturday’s Post.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.