• 52°

Norwood’s property tax to remain same rate, other fees go up

The town of Norwood’s 2020-2021 budget keeps the tax rate at 39 cents per $100 valuation.

The budget was adopted during the June 18 council meeting.

In a budget letter to the town council and citizens, Town Administrator Scott Howard wrote that crafting a budget for the upcoming fiscal year “has been the most difficult in recent history” due to the novel coronavirus.

“State experts are at a loss and have provided no real guidance for forecasting revenue,” he wrote. “This budget was painstakingly crafted from the ground up, from researching annual charges that had been paid for decades to examining donations we give, to how we receive our mail.”

Scott added the 2020-2021 budget “is the leanest budget that I have ever proposed.”

The town’s General Fund totals $2.52 million, which is $44,450 more than the current budget. This includes $316,500 for the administration department, $801,600 for the police department, $267,400 for the street department, $494,900 for the sanitation department, $95,150 for parks and recreation and $47,950 for cemetery department.

A new General Fund expenditure was created for council, which totals $283,850. The expenses are attributable to council actions such as donations, Howard writes, adding that “many other municipalities do this and this shows a more accurate description of expenditures.”

Powell Funds total $212,700, which includes $150,000 for street paving and resurfacing along with $35,000 for maintenance.

The Enterprise Fund totals roughly $2.08 million, which includes $1.37 million for field operations, $480,940 for water plant operations and $227,800 for wastewater plant operations.

The General Fund revenue, which also totals $2.52 million, includes $1.1 million in real property taxes, $528,600 in local option sales tax and $160,000 in utility franchise tax, $149,000 in garbage collection and $118,340 in encumbered fund balance. Other revenues make up $303,910.

Residential solid waste fees are $11 a month (up from $4 a month for current fiscal year) while small commercial solid waste fees are $14 a month (up from $6.25 a month). Howard said the increase was because the town had been subsidizing sanitization for a long time and it’s costing more than what the town is charging.

“We’ve got to pay our bills,” Howard said.

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.

email author More by Chris