Town tax rate of 72 cents proposed in Union Bridge

April 27, 1993|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer

Union Bridge Mayor Perry L. Jones Jr. and Town Clerk/Treasurer Kathleen D. Kreimer last night proposed to increase the town's tax rate from 68 cents to 72 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, the tax residents were paying two years ago.

Mr. Jones said this year that the tax rate likely would increase because of the costs associated with such projects as new municipal office construction and renovations to town utilities.

"We've got some work to do at the sewer plant and probably got some repairs to do to the water system, so this is the reason for the increase," Mr. Jones said.

Last year, the town budget was $356,800. The mayor estimates that for fiscal 1994 the town will need $494,500, an increase of more than 38 percent.

The assessment of property within the town also has increased from $17.3 million to about $19 million. There is a 16.8 percent corresponding increase in the constant tax yield, said Town Attorney John T. Macguire II.

If the council approves the proposal, the tax rate will sit high when compared with other Carroll municipalities. The highest is Westminster at 83 cents. The lowest is Manchester at 39 cents.

Union Bridge also faces the possibility of having to repay Lehigh Portland Cement Co. for several years of taxes the company paid on manufacturing equipment that the Court of Special Appeals ruled was tax-exempt. The proposed town budget does not address that.

The proposal also recommends a 45-cents-per-hour raise for Ms. Kreimer to bring her salary to $7.50 an hour. The mayor also suggests raising the salaries of the town's meter maid and street maintenance worker from $5 to $5.50 an hour.

Mayor Jones said Councilman Bret Grossnickel, who was absent from the meeting, suggested a $1 increase in the meter maid's salary because the town had recently excluded her from receiving other benefits. The cut saved the town $2,600, Mr. Jones said.

Town officials will hold a public meeting -- required by law -- on the constant tax yield at 6:30 p.m. May 24 at the community center. The council expects to approve the budget at a meeting later that night.

In other business, Councilman Scott W. Davis spent his last meeting as a councilman offering advice to those who will remain: Do something about the Phillips property.

"We've annexed the property for them [the developers] and they haven't given us anything," said Mr. Davis about the property off Route 75 that was annexed last August. "We need to get on them about that property. The town's going at a snail's pace."

The council also voted last night to apply for a $60,000 grant from the Maryland Department of the Environment to purchase a bar screen for the sewer plant.

A resolution was passed to allow a representative from the county to act on the town's behalf in receiving reimbursement for federal emergency disaster relief aid for the March 13 blizzard.

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