City hosts second public hearing for new budget, tax rate
The city of Graham hosted its second public hearing regarding the 2021-2022 budget and tax rate Thursday and discussed a proposal to increase sewer rates for improvements at the wastewater treatment plant as well as budgeting for a 3% raise for city employees.
The city of Graham has hosted two public hearings regarding the proposed budget and tax rate Thursday, Sept. 2 and Thursday, Sept. 9. The final adoption of the budget and ad valorem tax rate for the city will be during a regular city council meeting at 9 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 30, at the Graham Visitor and Business Center.
The city is proposing a 3% raise for city employees, or approximately $102,000, which would require a rate of $0.61 per $100 valuation. If the city proposes the same rate as last year of $0.605 per $100 valuation, the city would levy $2,212,108.08 in taxes compared with the $2,073,840.43 raised last year with the same rate. Graham City Manager Brandon Anderson has stated in budget workshops and during both public hearings that the city should move forward with the same rate as last year of $0.605 per $100 valuation while funding a 3% raise for employees which can be achieved through conservative budgeting.
“We took in another 15% increase in our sales tax rate. We are probably going to be in the plus of about $600,000 in sales tax revenue this year and (...) I want to continue to conservatively budget on the sales tax because I would like to get the general fund back to a stable enough balance that we would also then be able to quit borrowing money to pay for the capital items that are needed in general and that reserve would be what is built within the general fund. Very similar to what we have done in water and will be doing in sewer,” Anderson said. “So I think with conservative budgeting and some adjustments that can be made, we can adopt a negative budget by just a little bit. We can consider, and I’m going to recommend, we adopt the same tax rate that we did last year of 0.6050 which would, yes, be somewhat of a deficit budget in the general fund, but I think we will make it up with the conservative sales tax budget that we’ve got put in there from a revenue standpoint.”
For the rest of the story, see the Sept. 15 edition of The Graham Leader.