Mayor Jim Ireton has proposed a property tax hike…in his latest $53 million budget for the city of Salisbury.
And, the new Council President Jake Day called it “fiscally appropriate.”
Ireton is seeking $8.84 per $1000 of assessed property value.
Last year, former Council President Terry Cohen rejected the Mayor’s proposal for a hike of $8.34 cents.
The increase comes in the face of one of the most dramatic plunges in property values of 8 percent and is needed just to maintain the amount revenue the city has been receiving.
Ireton emailed the Salisbury Daily Times that the city cannot afford to keep cutting services.
The Mayor called his approached “fair and balanced”.
Council member Tim Spies, who now finds himself in the minority, cautioned against spending too freely even with signs of growth in the local economy.
In addition, other measures in Ireton’s budget range from $234-thousand for five new police vehicles and equipment and $756-thousand to sustain police department raises to $85-thousand to create a downtown redevelopment office.
The paper reports that the spending plan also suggested transforming Ireton’s executive office associate into a communications coordinator and give that staff member a raise.
Wicomico County Executive Rick Pollitt unveiled his $127 million budget for the fiscal year of 2014 -- an increase of $10 million over last year.
Pollitt is asking for a hike in the property tax by 8 percent to 90 cents per $100 of assessed property value.
The Board of Education did get an increase in its funding although not the $5.7 million that the Board request over last year’s allocation.
It includes $2.8 million for school security and technology upgrades.
Mary Ashanti, president of the Wicomico County NAACP, told the Salisbury Daily Times that she wants more spending on education but opposed adding sheriff’s deputies to police school hallways.
Pollitt is also calling for using $3.6 million reserve fund for one-time projects.