Saluda approves 2016-2017 budget with no new increases

Published 9:31 pm Friday, July 1, 2016


By Leah Justice

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The City of Saluda approved its fiscal year 2016-2017 budget on Monday, June 27 with no new increases in tax rates or water/sewer rates.

The city’s tax rate remains at $0.605, including 54 cents per $100 of property valuation for the general fund and 65 cents for the fire department. The city also is continuing debt service payments for renovations to city hall and the police department, budgeted at $40,012 for next year.

The city is also including a three percent merit increase for employees next year, which will be granted based on merit during each employee’s anniversary date. No cost of living adjustments are included. The new budget also includes funding for economic development and continued payments to Polk and Henderson county tax departments for collection of the city’s taxes.

Earlier this year, Saluda implemented water/sewer rate increases and a different structuring of its monthly user fee. The new user fee was increased to $17.50 per month as well as other increases to rates. The increases were approved in order to pay for a loan from the city in the amount of $150,000 to pay for Laurel Drive lift station repairs as well as future capital repairs the city has listed in its capital improvement plan.

The city’s total budget is for $1,904,518, including $1,096,458 in the general fund and $808,060 in the water/sewer fund.

Saluda is expecting to receive $583,800 in property tax revenue and $162,000 in sales tax revenue next year.

The city’s administration budget was approved at $390,599 with the police budget at $302,940, fire department budget at $70,075, transportation budget at $117,135, sanitation contract at $71,475 and cultural and recreational budget at $$33,450. The cultural and recreational budget includes expenses for the Tree City program, upkeep to the city’s cemetery, insurance and library salary, utilities and maintenance and repairs.

Saluda is expecting to receive $45,772 in state Powell Bill funding for repairs to streets and has placed $25,000 in its contingency budget.

Saluda’s new budget year began Friday, July 1.