Summit’s proposed million-dollar 2019-20 budget features a 3-mill tax hike, no plans for pay raises, a $30,000 deficit and little room to budge.
Officials agreed in May to seek a property tax increase, noting that the town hasn’t raised taxes in years and expenses keep rising.
Officials are eyeing a $1,071,815 budget for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1
The proposed tax hike has projected tax revenues rising from $288,027 in the current fiscal year to $384,924, although not all of that is from local taxes.
Expenses include $262,418 for city hall operations, $37,230 for court services, $437,561 for police, $46,055 for the volunteer fire department, $193,508 for the street division of public works and $124,300 for sanitation.
Councilman Joe Lewis asked about the chances of including employee pay raises and Town Clerk Pat Whittington said there was little wiggle room for that.
“Tell me where to cut it and I’ll cut it,” she said.
Lewis also suggested the town seek a new count of houses from Waste Management to make sure it wasn’t being overbilled for garbage collection.
Resident Rusty Whittington asked about previously discussed plans for a pay scale, which was never voted on.
“We don’t have anything set in our policy, and we need to,” Councilman Daryl Porter Jr. said.
Police Chief James Isaac said he understood that things were tight and wouldn’t request a raise for officers this yea,r but said he would like for the board to be able to “give ‘em a quarter here or there when you can.”