Faith proposed budget keeps tax rate steady

Published 12:10 am Friday, June 7, 2024

FAITH — The Faith Board of Aldermen has officially received the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year and set the date for the required public hearing.

The public hearing has been scheduled for 6:45 p.m. on June 11, or just after another public hearing for a rezoning request that has been scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on that day. Both hearings will be held just before the board’s regularly-scheduled monthly meeting, which is set to begin at 7 p.m.

Many of the numbers on the budget are relatively close to the budget from last year, including the property tax revenues. If the proposed budget is approved, the tax rate would stay the same as the prior year at 41 cents per $100 of property valuation. The prior year’s budget included $336,461 in property tax revenue while the current year budgets for $372,478, which makes up the majority of the budget’s approximately $40,000 increase in total revenues.

Many of the departments have similar budgets to the prior year as well. 

The administrative department has a projected increase in the budget of approximately $7,000, which largely reflects increases to insurance for employees, utility costs and office supplies.

The fire department has an increase of approximately $27,000 in the 2025 fiscal year budget versus the 2024 fiscal year budget. That number comes from a $4,000 increase in software costs resulting from the fire department’s implementation of a website, an approximately $9,000 increase in vehicle and other operational expenses and an approximately $25,000 increase in call reimbursement. Several line items were adjusted downwards by smaller amounts. Although those expenses are projected to increase, as of the end of April the fire department had actually only used 36 percent of the call reimbursement budget and 29 percent of the vehicle and other operational expenses budget.

The fire department also kept a conservative estimate for its donation revenues, as the revenues ended up at 500 percent of the budgeted number in the 2024 fiscal year as of the end of April, with $1,250 received versus $250 budgeted.

The town has also increased its payment for the joint police department with Granite Quarry by approximately $14,000, setting the total at $175,798 for the upcoming fiscal year. This represents an increase in the share of the total Granite Quarry-Faith Joint Police Authority’s total budget, set at $1,035,733 in Granite Quarry’s proposed budget, paid by Faith, from approximately 16 percent in 2024 to approximately 17 percent in 2025.

The proposed budget is not yet finalized, as Town Clerk Karen Fink said that additional work was still being done after the presentation to fine-tune the numbers. After the public hearing on Monday, the aldermen have until the last day of June to pass the budget.