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Locust property tax to remain at 36 cents rate

The 2019-2020 budget proposal for the City of Locust recommends the property tax rate remain at 36 cents per $100 valuation. If this stands, it would be the 22nd consecutive year the residents of Locust have not experienced a tax increase.

Cesar Correa, the city administrator who helped draft the budget, said the budget ordinance is a proposal and that a few items would likely change before the budget ordinance is given to the mayor and city council for approval.

This recommended budget proposal also assumes the North Carolina General Assembly will not make changes to local government revenue distribution that will impact Locust.

The 2019-2020 budget totals nearly $4.3 million for the General Fund and Enterprise Water Fund, a slight decrease from the previous fiscal year’s city-wide budget of more than $4.3 million.

The recommended General Fund budget for this fiscal year is $3.1 million, also a slight decrease from the previous fiscal year’s General Fund budget.

The projected General Fund expenses total $3 million. This includes $802,139 for general government, $79,250 for central services, $1.2 million for public safety, $264,588 for public works, $250,000 for environmental protection, $308,269 for parks and recreation and $98,692 for debt service.

Major appropriations in the General Fund expenses include $250,000 for the Market Street Sidewalk program; $413,228 for administration compensation; $960,909 for police compensation; $91,000 for capital outlay; $137,395 for public works compensation; and $165,986 for parks and recreation compensation.

The total General Fund expenses is a slight increase from the nearly $3 million from last fiscal year.

The projected General Fund revenue, which totals just over $3 million, includes $1.5 million from the property tax, $630,000 from sales tax, $200,000 from solid waste fee and a $250,000 N.C. Department of Transportation Sidewalk grant.

The projected Wastewater expenses for the 2019-2020 budget totals $1.1 million, a slight decrease from last year.

Major appropriations in the Wastewater expenses include $180,352 for wastewater compensation and $324,690 for wastewater treatment.

The projected Wastewater revenue, which totals $1.18 million, includes $866,500 for user fees and $115,000 for availability fees.

The projected Powell Fund expenses for the 2019-2020 budget totals $105,100, a decrease from last fiscal year’s $142,751.

The city will introduce the budget and have a public hearing during the May 9 city council meeting.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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