1992 Budget Avoids Tax Rate Hike

April 28, 1991|By Adam Sachs | Adam Sachs,Staff writer

MANCHESTER — The fiscal 1992 budget introduced by the Town Council Wednesday night reflects little change from the current year's spending plan, keeping the tax rate at 42 cents.

The $496,244 proposal represents a 6.4 percent increase over this year's $466,197 budget.

Much of the $30,047 increase will go toward the purchase of a newpolice car -- a second vehicle for the town's three-officer force --and the new project administrator position created in the current budget.

The council has budgeted $20,000 for the police car and $25,000 for the administrator job, now filled by David M. Warner, a former councilman whose three-month, 20-hour-per-week contract recently was renewed. In July, the council could extend Warner's contract or hire someone else for the $25,000.

The 42-cent tax rate per $100 of assessed property value means the owner of the average $134,000 home would pay $225 in town taxes, in addition to $1,260 in county taxes atits proposed $2.35 rate.

A public hearing on the budget will takeplace at 8 p.m. May 14 at Town Hall, 3208 York St., during the next scheduled council meeting. The council could adopt the budget, which takes effect July 1, the same night.

The council did not discuss details of the budget Wednesday.

The town has dropped its tax rate from 46 cents of two years ago.

Although the proposed tax rate remains the same, the town would generate an additional $9,322 in property taxes over the current year because of increased property values. The town's constant yield rate -- the tax rate that would produce thesame amount of revenue next year as this year -- is 39 cents, said Warner.

The town's revenue base has expanded slowly in the last fewyears, largely because little new development has taken place, saidJ. Scott Fischer, the county planning office's liaison for Manchester. Several proposed residential development projects have been delayed while the town continues its sewage plant expansion and studies theimpact of annexations.

Expenses for roads and parks would decrease from this year's budget, while spending on police and trash collection would increase under the proposed budget. Those are the four major services provided through Manchester's general treasury revenue.

Road improvement costs are slated to decrease from $80,000 to to $54,013. Salaries for parks workers would decrease slightly under the proposed budget, based on a projection that fewer total hours will be worked. No workers would be cut, but no money for park construction projects or improvements is planned.

Since the county deferred imposing any increase in landfill dumping fees for fiscal 1992, the town'scosts for trash collection service are slated to rise by only $2,015, from $60,550 to $62,565.

Water and sewer services will be paid through user fees and connection charges. Warner said user fees are likely to remain the same for fiscal 1992 -- an average of $14 per quarter for water (depending on usage), twice that amount per quarter forsewer use, and $45 annually per sewer unit.

Under the proposal, the town would maintain a smaller contingency fund for emergencies -- $1,312 as against the current allocation of $5,375.

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