Sykesville weighs 2-cent tax increase

May 20, 1994|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Sun Staff Writer

With calculators in hand, the Sykesville Town Council scrutinized the proposed budget for several hours last night.

After a line-by-line review, members reached the same conclusion announced at the May 9 meeting: A 2-cent tax increase in the property tax rate is needed to balance the $992,229 budget.

That would raise the rate from 82 cents to 84 cents per assessed $100 of value.

"When we raise the rate 1 cent, we get $4,500 from our assessable base of $44 million," said James L. Schumacher, town manager.

Mr. Schumacher said that if the median home is assessed at $150,000, the increase would mean about $50 more a year for the homeowner.

"People get nervous when you talk about raising taxes, but we aren't talking about that much money over a year's period," said Councilman Jonathan Herman.

The councilman said the increase could be traced to several specifics, including the county tipping fee for trash. Next year, the town estimates it will pay the county $83,000 for landfill use, up about $13,000 from the cost paid this year.

The proposed budget, to be voted on Monday, allows for a 2 percent cost-of-living raise for town workers.

"We are definitely behind the going rate for some employees," said Mayor Kenneth W. Clark in a reference to information from the Maryland Municipal League.

The budget includes money to hire one public works employee and one new police officer -- bringing the town force to seven. Both new hires would start Jan. 1.

"An additional officer would make a substantial difference in the coverage we provide," said Chief Mitchell. The police department has received $9,000 of the $18,000 requested in a state grant. The chief said he would like to use the grant to train a second K-9 unit and to buy another vehicle.

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