Tryon sales tax decrease replaced with expense cuts

Published 3:35 pm Friday, May 28, 2010

The Town of Tryon expects about $100,000 less next year in sales and utility franchise taxes, but has no plans for a tax increase this year.
To make up the loss council is instead considering cutting one day of trash pick-up, bringing residential to once per week and commercial to five times per week.
The town is also reaping savings from last year’s budget in not having to pay lawyers to handle annexation and the Tryon Country Club rezoning cases. In addition, Town Manager Justin Hembree is proposing to move the costs associated with debris collections from the street department, which is funded through the general fund, to the sanitation fund, which is funded through user fees.
Tryon Town Council held its first budget work session this week and has another planned for Tuesday. This week, council focused on general items, holding a lengthy discussion on the new trash pick-up schedule and how to handle brush collections and construction and demolition debris.
Council has still not determined exactly how it will handle debris collection other than it will be done through the sanitation department. Currently the town picks up debris once per week. The town may reduce that to once every two weeks and may possibly charge extra after for more than one pick-up per month. Council questioned how best to determine which debris is left by paid landscapers and contractors, which town policy excludes from pick up.
The town is budgeting about 25 percent less in sales tax and utility franchise tax for next fiscal year. This year, Tryon budgeted $83,716 for Article 39 sales tax and is expecting only $55,000. Sales taxes are expected to drop from $81,889 budgeted this year to $54,000 next year. Utility franchise tax revenues are also projected to decrease, from $107,500 this year to $88,000 next year.
Tryon Town Manager Justin Hembree says most departments will function on five to 10 percent less next year to make up for the loss in revenues.
The town’s legal, planning and court costs are greatly reduced since the town rescinded its annexation effort and dropped its defense of the Tryon Country Club rezoning.
Last year the town budgeted $10,000 for annexation costs and is budgeting zero next fiscal year. The town is also budgeting $25,000 less in its administration budget for professional legal services.
Tryon will have $21,708 left over in its general fund budget next fiscal year. Hembree has said those funds can be used for any issues that come up next year or can be transferred to the towns fund balance at the end of the year.
The town is expecting to keep its current tax rate at 47.78 cents per $100 of valuation and plans no employee raises nor major purchases.
The manager previously recommended a $2 per customer charge for capital needs in the sanitation department to replace trash trucks, but council came to a consensus this week that the town will hold off on that charge. The town will review its savings from cutting trash service and come back in about six months to discuss its needs.
At its work session next Tuesday, council is expected to focus on the town’s water and sewer budget. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at the Tryon Fire Department.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox