Budget calls for no tax increases

-A A +A
By Christopher Brooke, Reporter

HILLSVILLE — The town's 2009-2010 budget proposal calls for no tax increases and almost level funding in challenging economic times.

The request for the general fund in the coming fiscal year is $9,000 less than the current year — $2.941 million proposed, as compared to $2.95 million this year.

Town Manager Larry South wrote in the budget message that this request contains "no new bold initiative," but allows for current operations and services to continue as normal.

"This year's budget proposal for Historic Hillsville reflects an uncertain and unsettled national economic outlook by taking a very conservative approach to overall revenue predictions and expenditures," South wrote. He believes the town will likely see lower revenues from sales and use taxes — both large sources of funds for Hillsville.

Proposed tax rates include 18 cents for real estate, 72 cents for machinery and tools and personal property and 18 cents for mobile homes.

The proposed budget also would:

• give a 2 percent across-the-board salary increase for all employees.

• cover a 5 percent fee increase for employee health insurance.

• contain funding, again, for a sidewalk project on East Grayson Street.

South wrote that good things continue to happen in Hillsville, like "fresh storefronts, some growth and thousands of visitors in the historic district and throughout the town."

Hillsville also received the Preserve America designation in 2008, and South is looking forward to an expanded schedule of summer beach concerts and cruise-ins this year.