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Thread: Cary Announces New Tax Rate of $0.33

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    Default Cary Announces New Tax Rate of $0.33

    In line with what we were expecting, Cary announced a new property tax rate of $0.33 per $100 valuation. The most interesting thing in the FY '09 budget is that it's 20% lower than the currently adopted (FY 2008 ) budget. This is due to some capital projects slipping schedule and others being delayed.

    ****
    CARY’S PROPOSED BUDGET TARGETS MORE THAN $80 MILLION TO TRANSPORTATION AND PARKS WHILE DROPPING THE PROPERTY TAX RATE BY NEARLY A DIME
    Citizens will have several opportunities to weigh in

    CARY, NC – It will take about $306 million next year and a tax rate of 33 cents to keep Cary one of the greatest places in America to live, work, and raise a family, according to the Fiscal Year 2009 proposed budget presented by Town Manager Bill Coleman to the Town Council at its regular meeting last night. The budget, which is 20 percent lower than the current year’s adopted budget, includes $166,324,973 in proposed operations spending—a seven percent increase over the current year’s adopted operating budget; the $139,403,714 in proposed capital project spending is a 38 percent decrease from the current year’s adopted capital budget. Citizens are invited to share their thoughts at either of two budget public hearings to be held as part of the regular Town Council meetings on May 29 and June 12. Meetings begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Town Council Chambers, 316 N. Academy St., in downtown Cary. Fiscal Year 2009 runs from July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009.

    “The proposed FY09 budget takes a very conservative approach to new spending while ensuring that Cary citizens will continue to enjoy the high quality programs and services our community is known for,” said Town Manager Bill Coleman.

    Highlights of Coleman’s proposed capital plan include: $61.1 million for street improvements, downtown streetscaping and other transportation initiatives; $11.2 million for water projects; $37.7 million for sewer projects; $5.2 million for general government needs; $4.7 million for fire; and nearly $19.6 million for parks including $15.8 million for the renovation of old Cary Elementary and $1 million for open space acquisition.

    Coleman’s proposed operating budget includes 25.25 additional staff (full time equivalents or FTEs) to maintain existing service levels throughout Cary’s 54.73 square miles; most new positions will be in police, technology services, finance, public works and utilities, and parks. This increase in Town staff brings the total to 1,153.75, or about 8.9 staff members for each 1,000 Cary residents—one of the lowest staff-to-citizen ratios in the state for a large municipality.

    “We continue to operate under the philosophy that adding people is the most expensive, long-term solution to any situation. We work hard to find alternative ways to achieve our goals, only adding staff when it’s absolutely necessary,” said Coleman.

    Under Coleman’s recommended plan the Town’s property tax rate will drop by nine cents from 42 cents to 33 cents per $100 valuation due to Wake County’s property revaluation last fall. The 33 cent recommendation differs slightly from the 32 cent (rounded from 31.79) revenue neutral rate that results from NC General Statute calculations, which are based on averages.

    “Instead of simply relying on generalizations from historical averages, we’ve been able to use actual construction permit records to estimate our community’s real tax base growth during the last year, which yields a revenue neutral tax rate of 32.38 cents,” said Coleman. “Given Cary’s tradition of setting tax rates in penny increments and in light of growing economic uncertainties, I believe that rounding to 33 cents is the appropriate step for the coming year.”

    For a $300,000 single family home, one cent on the Cary tax rate equals $30 in annual taxes, so at the proposed rate of 33 cents, the $300,000 homeowner would pay $990 in Cary property taxes. For the Town of Cary as a whole, one cent on the tax rate in FY 2009 will generate about $1.9 million.

    Under Coleman’s plan, citizens can expect their monthly solid waste fees to increase $2.25, from $11.75 to $14, to cover increasing operating costs and new recycling benefits. And Cary water and sewer customers will see a modest 1.2% rate increase—about $0.77 more a month for a residential Cary customer using 7,000 gallons of water; the increase is needed to cover costs for the Western Wake Wastewater Treatment Plant.

    In addition to the upcoming public hearings, the Town Council will examine aspects of the budget in great detail during worksessions on May 13 and May 27 at 5:30 p.m. at Town Hall. Any changes to Coleman’s recommended budget will be listed separately and voted on in conjunction with approval of the entire budget at the regular Council meeting on June 26. North Carolina law requires local governments to adopt a balanced budget by June 30 since the new fiscal year starts July 1.

    The Town of Cary’s annual budget is a work and financial plan designed to implement the Town Council’s vision for the community as articulated in the organization’s mission statement and goals and initiatives:

    Town of Cary Mission Statement:
    At the Town of Cary we focus every day on enriching the lives of our citizens by creating an exceptional environment and providing exemplary services that enable our community to thrive and prosper.

    Council Goals and Initiatives:

    - Achieve a well-planned community using innovative and proactive planning approaches and techniques

    - Ensure that roads, water and wastewater facilities, parks, and other infrastructure exist for the existing citizens and for the future needs identified in the comprehensive plan

    - Achieve a stable and strong financial position by accurately estimating, prudently allocating and managing financial resources

    - Achieve a high level of service to the citizens in a prompt, reliable, responsive, and cost-effective manner

    The complete Town of Cary proposed budget is available at http://www.townofcary.org for review. Printed copies of the budget are also available for review at the Town Clerk’s Office in Town Hall and at the Cary public library in downtown Cary and at the West Regional Library, 4000 Louis Stephens Drive.
    Last edited by dhyatt; 05-09-2008 at 11:34 AM. Reason: missed a word :-(
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    CaryPolitics.org

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    Default Re: Cary Announces New Tax Rate of $0.33

    Clearly it is a conservative budget and one that represents a lot of thought and hard work on the part of the staff. Kudos to the staff for the budget proposal. Council has much work to do to crawl through this.

    What I don't care for in the PSA itself is the phrase "WHILE DROPPING THE PROPERTY TAX RATE BY NEARLY A DIME". It's technically true that the 9 cents is "nearly a dime" and it's technically true that the property tax RATE decreased by that much.

    But I wonder how many people will read this and think that they're getting a hefty tax cut, when in fact, because of revaluations, they're not, and because this is a tad above revenue-neutral, more people are likely to see slight increases.

    Good budget, bad PSA headline.
    - Brent Miller

    "The job of a citizen is to keep his mouth open" -- Gunter Grass

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    Default Re: Cary Announces New Tax Rate of $0.33

    Quote Originally Posted by Brent View Post
    Clearly it is a conservative budget and one that represents a lot of thought and hard work on the part of the staff. Kudos to the staff for the budget proposal. Council has much work to do to crawl through this.
    I'm hopeful that Morrisville staff and board will reconsider our tax rate after seeing Cary's numbers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brent View Post
    But I wonder how many people will read this and think that they're getting a hefty tax cut, when in fact, because of revaluations, they're not, and because this is a tad above revenue-neutral, more people are likely to see slight increases.

    Good budget, bad PSA headline.
    Good point. Morrisville leaders, in so many words, responded to residents concerned about our tax hike by saying it was actually a tax CUT since the rate was dropping.

    Today's N&O headline wasn't right, either..... Cary tax rate to rise slightly

    Jackie

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    Default Re: Cary Announces New Tax Rate of $0.33

    Quote Originally Posted by Jackie View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Brent View Post
    But I wonder how many people will read this and think that they're getting a hefty tax cut, when in fact, because of revaluations, they're not, and because this is a tad above revenue-neutral, more people are likely to see slight increases.

    Good budget, bad PSA headline.
    Good point. Morrisville leaders, in so many words, responded to residents concerned about our tax hike by saying it was actually a tax CUT since the rate was dropping.

    Today's N&O headline wasn't right, either..... Cary tax rate to rise slightly
    Apparently few people can get it right, and apparently our friends at Triangle Community Coalition, on their blog growthmatters.org, and some of the ones who misinterpreted the PSA. They've claimed that Cary will experience a "decrease in taxes" and a "decrease in their tax bill".

    When others such as the N&O and blogs pick up on PSAs, it's important to get them right, I guess.
    - Brent Miller

    "The job of a citizen is to keep his mouth open" -- Gunter Grass

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    Default Re: Cary Announces New Tax Rate of $0.33

    The N&O made a mess of the story. Are they really that simple-minded? All in all, we shall pay more but in the grand scheme of things, but less than expected.

    "Under Coleman’s recommended plan the Town’s property tax rate will drop by nine cents from 42 cents to 33 cents per $100 valuation due to Wake County’s property revaluation last fall. The 33 cent recommendation differs slightly from the 32 cent (rounded from 31.79) revenue neutral rate that results from NC General Statute calculations, which are based on averages."

    Kudos to all the members of the TC and Mr. Coleman. This is a sensible budget given the unprecedented growth that the previous members ushered in over the last few years. Well done!
    We occasionally stumble over the truth but most of us pick ourselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.

    Sir Winston Churchill

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    Default Re: Cary Announces New Tax Rate of $0.33

    Quote Originally Posted by Icorpse View Post
    The N&O made a mess of the story. Are they really that simple-minded? All in all, we shall pay more but in the grand scheme of things, but less than expected.
    Journalists seem to have trouble with mathematics. Sorry to generalize, that's just my observation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Icorpse View Post
    Kudos to all the members of the TC and Mr. Coleman. This is a sensible budget given the unprecedented growth that the previous members ushered in over the last few years. Well done!
    I'll agree with that. It won't be easy, but Cary can recover.

    And I think the current Town Council are the right folks to get it done.
    - Brent Miller

    "The job of a citizen is to keep his mouth open" -- Gunter Grass

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