I read that the new budget was adopted for the Town of Selma on Friday. I don't know what the whole story is yet, but it is odd that on Monday night it was voted to not submit a final budget until the end of July. On Friday, the order of business was announced to be a wrap up of old budget business from the expiring fiscal year. Now I read in The Selma News that an amended budget has been adopted.
One detail that I don't recall reading previously was a $1 proposed increase in garbage collection fees. I would never have noticed a $1 increase in garbage collection fees, which is added to the utility bill. That is probably why it was proposed and not widely known. Incrementalism works.
I see that there is still an increase in taxes. At least the increase was kept to just 5 cents per $100 value. For me personally, that makes an annual increase of $40.42 in property taxes to the town. That much could be added to my utility bill and I probably wouldn't have a hard time with it.
If you live in Johnston County and own property, you can check the tax value of your property and subsequent tax liability from the tax rate hike by using this site. Just be sure to change the drop down menu search parameters to the appropriate values in performing your search.
As much as I despise tax increases, that much is a reasonable increase compared to what was proposed earlier. None the less, I do believe that irresponsible leadership has gotten us to the point of needing the increase and I do fault those who have been in elected office for any length of time in this town for it.
I am not going to join the bandwagon of bashing former town manager Jeff White for the problems. Though Jeff was in charge of town administration during the budget over projection and subsequent spending, it is ultimately the town council (including mayor) that sets the budget. I don't know all the details as to the reasons for the erroneous budget projections and won't pretend to. I will, however, question any councilmember who would not question a sudden surge in revenue projections.
A part of the article:
The Selma Town Council adopted an amended budget today during a noon budget work session.
The budget includes a five cent property tax increase, instead of the earlier proposed 11 cent increase, and a $1 per month increase to the garbage collection fee, taking it from $15 to $16 per month.
Eliminated from the budget were four police dispatchers, as the Council voted at a meeting held on Monday to contract with Johnston County 911 Communications to dispatch police calls next year.