Columbus approves revenue neutral budget, rejects higher tax rate option

Published 3:43 pm Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The 42 cent budget proposal included more pay raises for employees, something Gage and Metcalf were heavily against because of the economy. Gage said last Thursday that he doesn&squo;t know of anyone getting a raise in this economy, adding most people are getting pay reductions.

The approved budget allows for pay raises to be made next January instead of July 1, but council agreed last Thursday for the manager to get approval from council before granting those raises. Council said the raises will not occur if revenues are down next year.

The new budget, which takes effect July 1, includes a 3 percent sewer rate increase.

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Council will also decide later in the year if it can afford to lease a new patrol car, something council members said is desperately needed.

The 39-cents per $100 of valuation rate will bring in about $449,000 in property and vehicle taxes next year compared to $441,000 this year. Town officials say 39 cents was the closest whole number for the town to receive around the same ad valorem tax revenues as the current year.