SUMMERVILLE -- The town expects to have more money in 2012, but not new taxes.
Town Council approved a budget of nearly $25 million in a preliminary vote last week. It calls for no new taxes or fees, Mayor Bill Collins said. Property tax on a $200,000 home will remain about $499, according to the town finance office. It is about $2 million more than the current budget, but the town will draw down its fund balance, essentially a savings account, for that extra money.
The town has been keeping in reserve almost double the money recommended by the state. The budget pays for two new police officers and a maintenance worker, but does not provide a cost of living increase for staff. Collins expects to use revenue from hospitality taxes to pay for enhancements to draw tourism revenue -- items such as a new farmers market and traffic light pole improvements in the historic downtown shopping district.
The town has begun to see upticks in revenues from sources such as business licenses and building permits fees that suggest improvements in an economy that has stagnated revenue since the national economic collapse in 2008.
The budget is the first proposed by Collins in his role as acting town administrator. The calendar year is the town's fiscal year.
Reach Bo Petersen at 937-5744.