Updated message from the Mayor regarding the increases to taxes and fees.
FY 20 – Property tax increase to .80 cents (18%).
FY 21 – Property Tax rate To Be Determined (TBD) in next budget cycle (Single digit percentage increase likely).
- The .80 cent property tax rate equals:
- $200,000 of assessed value / $1,640 total per yr. / a $240 increase. This represents a $20 per month increase.
- $400,000 of assessed value / $3,280 total per yr. / a $480 increase. This represents a $40 per month increase.
- Increase the Sewer Fee rate by 25%.
This stops all further borrowing from the general fund. It also was decided to hire qualified consultants during FY 20 to recommend how our Sewer Fees should be restructured from FY 21 going forward.
Since the upgrade and expansion of Berlin’s Wastewater Treatment Plant and new Spray Irrigation Site the Sewer Fund has been supplemented and dependent on EDUs (Equivalent Dwelling Units) that are the fees the town receives from new development. The cost to for each EDU is $16,686.
Going forward, a qualified financial consulting firm will be contracted in the new fiscal year to determine how the Sewer Fund should be supported going forward. We will be asking the consultants to recommend a system whereby all EDUs are applied to the Sewer Fund’s costs each year. In fiscal years where there is enough income to cover all Sewer Fund costs, the sewer fee for the following year would be lower.
In fiscal years where there are low levels of development, the Sewer Fund fee in the following year would be adjusted upwards to cover the difference between EDU revenues and costs. With this approach the Sewer Fee would be adjusted up or down based on the level of EDUs purchased the prior year.
- Increase Water Fee by 5%. Brings revenues in line with increased costs.
- Monday, May 13 regular session: The next step in the budget process will be the formal introduction/first reading on the Tax Rate & Constant Yield Rate and Public Hearing on the budget
- Monday, June 10 regular session: Public Hearing and Budget Adoption.
Between now and the May 13th regular session the Town Administrator, Finance Director and Department Heads will make additional cuts to FY 20 budget expenses, including recommendations from the Council Monday evening.
Mayor Gee Williams
Town of Berlin