Commissioners, mayor plan to work to eliminate it

Published: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 17:41 PM.

Havelock residents could see a two cent property tax increase to go along with an increase in trash pickup under a proposed budget introduced to commissioners on Monday.

However, the proposed tax increase met with opposition from the board and Mayor Jimmy Sanders.

"I’ve got three letters — D.O.A," Sanders said, calling the tax increase dead on arrival. "When you look at no growth, or very, very minimal growth, it’s not time for a tax increase. We will do what we have to do to stay under budget. That, in my mind, does not include a tax increase."

Lee Tillman, city finance director, presented the proposed 2013-14 budget to commissioners on Monday. The spending plan proposes to raise the property tax rate of 46.5 cents per $100 in property value to 48.5 cents. That would mean an increase of $27 per year for the average home in Havelock valued at $134,830.

"Two-cent tax increase for me, at this stage, is a no go," Commissioner George Liner said. "They are going to have to prove to me why we can’t cut something else. We’re either going to cut people or we’re going to cut some services. I don’t want to do that, but I’ll do that before I go to a two-cent tax increase."

The proposed budget is $15.6 million. It is 27 percent less than the $21.5 million budget for the current year, which included a one-time expenditure of about $3 million for the sewer expansion project.

Commissioner Danny Walsh gave City Manager Jim Freeman and the staff credit for reducing expenses in the budget but also opposed the tax increase.



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