Council adopts budget, new rates

Published 9:07 pm Friday, June 17, 2022

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The Windsor Town Council voted 5-1 during its Tuesday, June 14, meeting to adopt the town’s proposed fiscal year 2022-23 budget and tax rates

Council then voved 6-0 to adopt the town’s proposed 2022-23 Capital Improvement Plan and water rate.

Councilwoman Kelly Blankenship cast the lone dissenting vote on the budget and tax rates.

In meetings leading up to the Tuesday vote, most council members agreed that tax-rate increases are going to be necessary and that it would be better to act on that need sooner rather than later.

“I do not feel now, with the current state of the economy, that it is the right time to increase taxes,”Blankenship said in a June 16 interview. “I feel like we have the (American Rescue Plan Act) ARPA money in the event we have a budget shortfall for the next two years, and we should focus on new revenue opportunities versus tax increases.”

The town’s now-adopted tax rates for tax year 2022 include a 4-cent increase for three different rates: real estate, service corporations and mobile homes. There is also a 10-cent increase on the cigarette tax.

The adopted FY 2022-23 town water rate features an increase of 50 cents per 1,000 gallons.

For tax year 2022, the adopted tax rates are as follows:

  • real estate: 14 cents per $100 of assessed value
  • service corporations: 14 cents per $100 of assessed value
  • mobile homes: 14 cents per $100 of assessed value
  • personal property: 50 cents per $100 of assessed value
  • machinery and tools: 25 cents per $100 of assessed value
  • cigarette tax: 40 cents per pack
  • meals tax: 6%

Windsor Town Manager William Saunders confirmed the town’s real estate tax rate has remained unchanged at 10 cents since 2005.

During the May 26 special called meeting, Councilman J. Randy Carr asked Saunders what effect the proposed 4-cent increase would be on the average homeowner.

“It’s about $100 on a $250,000 house (annually),” Saunders said. “It’s about $20 on a $50,000 mobile home.”

Saunders noted in a June 14 memo to the mayor and town council that the FY 2022-23 general fund budget is balanced with a total of $4,346,899.16, and the adopted water fund budget is balanced, with a total of $1,451,775.

The memo also summarized the substantive revisions made to the FY 2022-23 budget. On the revenue side, the bank franchise tax increased from $145,000 to $155,600.

On the expenditures side, the non-departmental insurance line increased from $62,000 to $62,500; the police overtime line increased from $22,000 to $29,500; the police enhanced retirement benefits line increased from $64,490 to $72,126; the police vehicle fuel and tires line increased from $31,250 to $34,000; the telephone/communications (water fund) line increased from $3,500 to $4,000; the depreciation (water fund) line decreased from $81,881.94 to $81,231.94; and the non-departmental ARPA projects line decreased from $1,775,878.10 to $1,768,242.10.