Landis approves budget, retains current tax rate

Published 12:08 am Thursday, June 13, 2024

LANDIS — The Landis Board of Aldermen approved the budget for the upcoming fiscal year on Monday, keeping the current property tax rate where it was.

The current tax rate in Landis is $0.49 per $100 valuation. That means that on a $200,000 home, a Landis resident will pay $980 per year in property taxes.

Prior to the board voting on the budget, Mayor Pro Tem Ashley Stewart requested that Town Manager Michael Ambrose provide a few key highlights in the upcoming budget.

“Last year, we reduced our tax rate four cents from 53 to 49 (cents per $100 valuation),” Ambrose said. “This year, we are keeping that same tax rate at 49 cents. We are not raising our taxes, but we are keeping our level of service.”

This tax rate is based on an estimated total valuation of $487,299,882 at an estimated collection rate of 98 percent for real and personal property excluding motor vehicles.

In the budget, Landis anticipates revenues of approximately $6,911,553, with $2,207,104 coming from property taxes.

As for the expenditures, public safety constitutes the greatest piece of the pie at $3,057,712. Public services — streets and sanitation, takes up the second largest slice at $1,826,065.

In the new budget, Landis employees will receive a four-percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) and the budget also includes a two-percent, merit-based increase.

Ambrose indicated that he plans to try to “revamp” the outside of Landis Town Hall using funds left in the old American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) account.

“We want to increase our code enforcement clean up and are adding a planning technician as well,” Ambrose said.

According to Ambrose, the Landis Police Department requested two additional vehicles, and have plans in place to increase the department’s training quality to match federal training standards.

“That’s all being done with grant dollars,” Ambrose said.

The town manager mentioned that training and education with the fire department will also be increased using leftover ARPA funding.

According to Ambrose, Landis’ fire department and police department are both currently staffed to capacity.

Pointing to the parks and recreation department, Ambrose said that they had plans to add mini-splits to cabins at Lake Corriher Wilderness Park. Other parks and recreation projects include concrete replacement and new swings.

“In our street department, we obviously got to start our sign change out as well,” Ambrose said. “(The department is) requesting a new lawn mower, an increase in beautification, and our downtown revitalization. We received a lot of state appropriation money and grant funding.”

When called to a vote, the board unanimously approved the budget’s passage. Alderman Darrell Overcash was not present for the vote.