Landis approves budget, swears in three new officials

Published 12:10 am Wednesday, June 21, 2023

LANDIS — Landis town officials officially approved the budget for the upcoming fiscal year during their meeting on Monday night and, in doing so, reduced the tax rate by $0.04.

Like all the municipalities in Rowan County, Landis was subject to a reassessment, aligning home values with current market trends. Like many other places around the county, average home values in Landis increased.

Given the updated valuations of homes, the lowered tax rate will still bring more revenue to the town than in previous budget cycles.

While the budget does provide a decrease of $0.04 per $100 valuation on property taxes, it is not reduced enough to reach a revenue-neutral rate.

A revenue-neutral rate means the town collects the same revenue as the year before, but would not accommodate any cost increases a community faces.

The new tax rate of $0.49 per $100 will be for all real and personal property.

This tax rate is based on an estimated total property valuation for taxation of $434,257,473 at an estimated collection rate of 98 percent for real and personal property, excluding motor vehicles. The estimated rate of collections is based on the fiscal year ending 2022.

A memo from the newly-appointed Landis town manager, Michael Ambrose, indicated that the decrease will “still allow (Landis) to grow and keep us in good financial position.”

Property taxes make up the most significant portion of Landis’ revenues at approximately 36 percent of the town’s total revenues, which, as budgeted, are approximately $5,978,000.

Town swears in three new officials

During the Monday meeting, three officials were sworn into administrative positions.

Michael Ambrose officially assumed the role of the full-time town manager. During public comment, Landis resident Nadine Cherry said she was satisfied to have someone like Ambrose in the position.

In attendance supporting Ambrose was his wife, mother and grandmother.

In taking over as town manager, Ambrose vacated the finance officer position for which he was originally hired. Sworn in to that role, in an interim capacity, was Jeneen McMillen. The town is currently seeking applicants for a full-time finance officer.

Lastly, Haley Graham took the oath to officially become Landis’ new deputy town clerk.