No tax increases proposed for Tryon

Published 8:00 am Saturday, May 19, 2018

Manager presents budget recommendations to council

TRYON — Tryon Town Manager Zach Ollis has presented his recommended budget for fiscal year 2018-2019, with no tax increases recommended.

Tryon Town Council met Tuesday and were presented with the draft budget.

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Ollis said the property tax rate is recommended to stay at 50.28 cents per $100 of valuation.

“Taxes have not been raised this fiscal year,” Ollis said. “It is recommended that the board seriously look at raising taxes in the future for long-term fiscal health.”

The recommended general fund budget totals $1.54 million, which is $4,900, or a 0.3 percent decrease from the current budget.

The proposed budget includes $227,000 of sales tax revenue next fiscal year, along with $769,883 in property taxes at a 98-percent collection rate.

The town does not plan to use any fund balance next year, with Ollis saying the town had an unassigned general fund balance of $749,607 at the end of last fiscal year. The town plans to place another $39,000 into its fund balance next year.

The Powell bill fund is budgeted at $80,000 next year, with $65,000 received from the state and another $15,000 from the current year to cover debt service currently being paid off.

The fire department fund has been raised to make the department more efficient, Ollis said, and to prepare for the upcoming World Equestrian Games. The fire department is requesting a 4-cent tax increase from the county. Revenues are estimated at $494,729 for next fiscal year.

Ollis said the department still includes a $32,000 expense for a general fund repayment. He said the budget allows the department to place $76,400 back into the fire department’s fund balance.

Harmon Field is estimated to receive $179,500 next year with no tax increases.

The water/sewer fund has an operating budget of $1.63 million which is a more than $10,000 increase from the current year. Ollis said the increase is a result of rising costs and projects being accomplished.

“We have included $20,000 for improvements to the waste water treatment plant,” Ollis said.

He also said the budget provides $50,000 for meters, registers and equipment instead of the standard $32,000.

“This is for the town to help implement the changeover to newer infrastructure faster than originally projected,” Ollis told council.

The complete budget draft is available at town hall and will be on its website.

A public hearing on the budget will be at 7 p.m. on June 21.

“This budget will focus on providing fiscal sustainability, improvements of infrastructure, great public service and economic vitality,” Ollis said. “The staff believes that this budget is built to move the town forward in a positive, successful and sustainable manner.”

The town’s new fiscal year will begin July 1.