Fiinal Budget Workshop RE: 2018-2019 Budget Set for June 22nd.

Latest revisions have lowered the originally proposed tax rate increase considerably

Following several weeks of research, budget workshops, a review of historical data, current year revenues and expenses and input from department heads, the Town of Lake Lure is considerably closer to finalizing the proposed 2018-2019 Budget for the Town of Lake Lure.

Thus far, it calls for a 7.5 cent tax increase over 2017-2018. Originally, an approximate 12 cent increase was proposed by former Town Manager Ron Nalley, citing several highly critical projects that cannot be funded under the current tax rate of .276 cents per $100 of property value.

Town Council discussed the budget again during the regular monthly meeting Tuesday, June 12th.

Further additions and reductions could be made before the budget is finalized and adopted during a special Town Council meeting on June 26th @ 9:30 am. The 2018-2019 Budget takes effect July 1.

A final budget workshop to discuss the proposed tax increase and any further changes to the proposed line items, has been scheduled for June 22nd at 9 am. 

The proposed budget documents available show what was originally recommended:  a tax rate of $0.403 cents per $100 of property value, which would have resulted in a rate increase of $0.127.

However, during the last budget workshop on May 30th, Town Commissioners cut it back to a 7.5 cent increase.  It’s important to note that 3 cents of that would be for the debt service for a future loan on the Lake Lure Hydroelectric Dam. 

By eliminating or delaying some capital costs, reducing some operational costs, and eliminating a newly requested Engineering staff position, Council believes that they have a proposed budget that still accomplishes a great deal. 

Therefore, while a tax increase is still deemed necessary to fund the Town’s important infrastructure needs, Council has worked together over the last several weeks to reduce the amount of the proposed increase significantly.

Highlights of the proposed 2018-2019 Budget and how the tax increase, if passed, breaks down:

As currently proposed, a 7.5 cent tax increase to $0.351 on a $300,000 home value would be:

  • $1,053 per year in taxes or $87.75 per month. 
  • This equates to a 27% increase in the tax rate.
  • A homeowner will pay an additional $225 per year in taxes or an additional $18.75 a month. 

Tax Rate

Cost per Year

Cost per Month

$ Increase from Current Rate

% Increase from Current Rate

.276 – Current Rate

$ 828 per year

$ 69.00 per month

.326 Tax Rate

$ 978 per year

$ 81.50 per month

$150 per year

18% Increase

.351 – Revised Rate

$ 1,053 per year

$ 87.75 per month

$225 per year

27% Increase

.376 Tax Rate

$ 1,128 per year

$ 94.00 per month

$300 per year

36% Increase

.403 – Originally Proposed Rate

$ 1,209 per year

$100.75 per month

$381 per year

46% Increase

.426 Tax Rate

$ 1,278 per year

$106.50 per month

$450 per year

47% Increase

  • The proposed budget incorporates a $5-6 million dollar loan that the Town is applying for to fund in its entirety the multi-phase remediation project at the Lake Lure Hydroelectric Dam. Debt service on the loan, once received will be in excess of $350,000.
  • Also included in the proposed budget is the debt service on the already received loan of $12.5 million to replace the Town’s sewer system. Repayment of that loan will be approximately $545,000 a year. 
  • The proposed budget funds all of the projects in the approved Capital Improvement Plan. The only change from the approved list of projects was a reduction in the engineering and design costs for the new marina and boardwalk from $300,000 to $150,000.
  • Water and sewer rates that customers pay will remained unchanged.
  • The budget funds a new position: Director of Parks & Recreation.

“Going forward with the plans, repairs, and dreams that we have for Lake Lure, it is especially important to prioritize our needs as a community and to begin to pay for those projects that will best position us for responsible growth and preservation of our most critical assets,” said Lake Lure Mayor Kevin Cooley. “While no-one likes to see a tax increase, we are confident that the improvements to our critical infrastructure will begin to position Lake Lure to be a much stronger community economically speaking.”

As referenced above, the Town’s updated Capital Improvement Plan has been a key component guiding the council’s budget priorities. Although many capital projects had to be eliminated or deferred, this year’s proposed budget funds the first year costs for 28 projects.