Union Bridge Mayor Proposes 4-cent Tax Cut

March 27, 1991|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff writer

UNION BRIDGE — Mayor Edward L. Williar has proposed leaving the town a parting giftwhen he retires in May -- a 5.5 percent property tax decrease.

That translates to a 4-cent reduction, from 72 cents to 68 cents per $100 of assessed value.

The owner of an average $130,000 home now pays $374 in town and $1,222 in county property tax.

If the rate is lowered, that homeowner would pay about $354 in town property tax.

"We worked really hard to reduce the town taxes this year," said the mayor, adding the budget will be one of the last official acts of his 35-year career. "Although we had spending increases, we were still able to lower taxes."

The mayor's proposal would roll the tax rate back to 1989 levels,before trash tipping fees forced the Town Council to institute the first tax increase in 10 years.

The proposed budget, introduced at Monday's council session, calls for a $33,000 increase, or 10.5 percent, over current spending of $312,900. Proposed spending for fiscal year 1992, which begins July 1, is $346,000.

Sewer and water fees account for the largest increases. Current revenue of $57,500 and $25,000 for sewer and water service will increase to $78,000 and $44,000,respectively.

The town has planned an increase, from $500 to $1,000, in

water and sewer hook-up fees. Those fees could offset the town's costs if the 171-acre Phillips development is annexed this year.

A public hearing on that annexation has been scheduled for 7 p.m. April 8 at the Community Center.

Town Attorney John T. Maguire also introduced a revised water ordinance, which pulls provisions fromseven prior ordinances. The revision calls for an increase to $10 for the first 5,000 gallons in the quarterly water rates and $1.50 per each additional 1,000 gallons. Homeowners now pay $7 for the first 5,000 gallons of water and $1 per 1,000 gallons thereafter.

"We can lower taxes a little with the proposed increase in our water and sewer rates," said Kathleen D. Kreimer, the town clerk. "We really haven't increased those charges in about 10 years."

Kreimer said the water and sewer money will be maintained in a separate account. Previously, the town had used money from its general fund for water and sewer.

Two salary increases were written into the 1991-1992 budget, totaling $600 a year -- a raise to $6.25 an hour for a part-time clerk and to $5 an hour for the street cleaner.

The council expects to vote on the proposed budget and the new water ordinance at its next session April 22. A public hearing will precede the budget's adoption.

Residents may review the budget at the Town Hall, 1 W. Broadway, during business hours.

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