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Town of Newland Adopts 2019-2020 Budget by a 3-2 Vote

By Tim Gardner

The Town of Newland has a budget of $868,783.00 for the 2019-2020 fiscal year, its officials have announced.

The budget was adopted by a 3-2 vote. Board of Aldermen (Town Council) members Kenny Caraway, Dave Calvert, and Lauren Turbyfill voted in favor of the budget. Aldermen Jamey Johnson and Christie Hughes voted against. Thus, the budget adoption passed by a majority vote.

The Board of Aldermen, Mayor Valerie Jaynes, Town Administrator Keith Hoilman, Town Finance Officer Lise Meinhardt, and other town officials had worked preparing a proposed budget during several town workshops this year. It eventually became the adopted budget.

According to the budget, which runs from July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020, there will be no increase in the Town’s tax or water and sewer rates.  

The budget’s general breakdown includes: General Government -$190,400.00; Public Safety-Police-$348,675.00; Tag Office-$95,850.00; and Public Works-$215,590.00. The Total Amount of Appropriations is: $850,515.00. An additional amount of $18,268.00 is available in the fund balance bringing the Total Budget Amount to-$868,783.00.

The budget includes an estimate that the following revenues will be available in the town’s General Fund for the new fiscal year: Current year’s real property taxes-$296,240.00; Current year’s motor vehicle taxes-$31,000.00; Penalties and interest on real property taxes -$200.00; Business Registry fees -$1,000.00; Utility Tax Distribution-$112,000.00; Local Sales Tax Distribution-$265,000.00; Alcohol Tax Distribution- $3,100.00; Solid Waste Disposal Tax- $400.00; Powell Bill Distribution-$25,500.00; Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Tag Revenue-$55,000.00; Avery County Subsidy-$32,275.00; Sales Tax Refund-$5,000.00; Gas Tax Refund-$1,500.00; Interest on Investments -$240.00; Passport Processing Fees -$2,000.00; Miscellaneous Income-$600.00; and Rental Income-$26,028.00.

The budget also includes an estimate that revenue of $506,000.00 will be available in the Town’s Water and Sewer Fund. Additionally, the budget includes a town tax at the rate of fifty-two cents ($0.52) per one hundred dollars ($100) valuation of property as listed for taxes as of January 1, 2019, for the purpose of raising the revenue listed “Current Year’s Property Taxes” in the General Fund. This rate is based on a total valuation of property for the purposes of taxation of $61,925,00.00 and an estimated collection rate of 92 percent.

According to Meinhardt, the budget also provides a salary increase for each of the town’s employee’s with the exact amount of the pay raise determined by their job title. Meinhardt added that funds are reserved in the budget in the amount of $45,000.00 for Street and Road improvements.

Anyone wanting a copy of the entire 2019-2020 fiscal year budget can obtain it at the Town Clerk’s Office in Town Hall, located at 301 Cranberry Street.

The Board of Aldermen will next meet, Tuesday, July 2, beginning at 6:00 p.m. in Town Hall.