EDINBURG – No one spoke at Tuesday’s public hearing when Town Council members presented their proposed fiscal year 2020 budget of $1,603,172, which is slightly less than the current year’s budget of $1,626,788.
Council members held a public hearing a half an hour before their regular meeting but closed the hearing shortly after opening it because no one appeared to speak.
Before voting on the proposed budget next month, council members voted to approve an amendment to the current budget reflecting increases and decreases in expenses and revenues in both the enterprise and general funds.
The current budget overestimated revenues for the general fund coming in from sales tax, the bank franchise tax, and the cigarette tax.
According to the budget amendment, the budgeted sales tax of $87,000 was “way off” as the state has only sent the town $59,200 in sales tax revenues. The cigarette tax, which Edinburg instituted in 2018-19, also overestimated the revenue it would generate — bringing in only $25,300 compared to budgeted $35,000.
Enterprise revenues were also below what council members expected when they passed the budget as the town did not secure a bridge loan for $280,000.
Council members are not raising any taxes besides the meals tax, which they are increasing to 6% from 5%, bringing them in line with the rest of the county.
Water and sewer rates will also increase during the next budget cycle. The minimum water bill for in-town residents will go up $1 and out-of-town users will see a $1.50 increase for the first 3,000 gallons. Sewer fees are going up $4 on the minimum bill for in-town residents and $6 for the first 3,000 gallons for out-of-town users.
Council members will vote on the proposed budget at their June 11 meeting. They can make changes to the budget between now and the time they vote, unless they propose any rate or tax increases, in which case, they will have to hold another public hearing on the proposed changes.