UNION — Even with cost of living increases for all city employees and a property tax increase the City of Union’s proposed budget for fiscal 2016-2017 will still be more than $450,000 less than its current budget.
The preliminary proposed budget projects a total of $44,855,420 in spending, a decrease one percent or $454,220 less than the $45,309,640 budgeted for fiscal 2015-2016. The projected decline in total expenditures is due to projected decreases in expenditures in the following departments:
• Solid Waste Management — From $784,230 to $767,440, a decrease of 2 percent or $16,790.
• Economic Development Fund — From $222,550 to zero, a decrease of 100 percent or $222,550.
• Union County Events Center (Bond) — From $848,140 to zero, a decrease of 100 percent or $848,140.
• Union County Events Center (City) — From $689,000 to $170,000, a decrease of 75 percent or $519,000.
• Tax Increment District (Other) — From $39,500 to zero, a decrease of 100 percent or $39,500.
The project for the following departments either remained unchanged from the current fiscal year to fiscal 2016-2017 or increased:
• General Fund — From $5,915,150 to $6,108,330, an increase of 3 percent or $193,180.
• Hospital and Accommodations — From $400,000 to $435,000, an increase of 9 percent or $35,000.
• City of Union Drug Fund — Unchanged at $6,000.
• Community Change Fund — Unchanged at $30,000.
• Tax Increment District (Debt Service) — Unchanged at $90,000.
• Combined Utility Fund — From $45,309,640 to $44,855,420, an increase of 3 percent or $963,580.
The preliminary proposed budget also proposes a 2.3 percent cost of living increase for all city employees.
Property Tax Increase
The preliminary proposed budget also includes a 2.6 mill property tax increase that would increase the city’s property tax millage from 84.2 mills to 86.8 mills.
For city residents with a home valued at $100,000, this means the property tax on their home would increase from $336.80 to 347.20, an increase of $10.40.
City residents with a home valued at $50,000 would see the property tax on their home increase from $168.40 to $173.60, an increase of $5.20.
The monthly fee the city charges for garbage collection would remain the same at $16 per month.
The City of Union Utility Department provides customers with electricity, natural, water and wastewater services. Under the preliminary proposed budget the rates for electricity and natural gas will remain the same but the purchase power adjustment or PPA and the purchased gas adjustment (PGA) will continue.
Water rates for residential customers, however, will increase 2.5 percent on volume. For residential customers inside the city the rate they pay on 4,000 gallons of water will increase from $22.67 to $23.03 an increase of $0.36 per month. For residential customers outside the city the rate they pay on 4,000 gallons of water will increase from $34.01 to $34.53, an increase of $0.52 per month.
Water distribution and fire sprinkler rates, however, will remain unchanged.
Wastewater rates will increase 5 percent which means residential customers inside the city will pay $32.64 per 4,000 gallons, up $0.88 per month from $31.76 while residential customers outside the city will pay $49 per 4,000 gallons, up $1.36 from $47.64.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or email@example.com.