Sunday, January 16, 2022

Leland mulls raising taxes in resident survey. Here’s a breakdown of potential increases

To meet resident's concerns, the town has estimated a breakdown of what a multitude of relevant issues would cost each resident in taxes.

The Town of Leland could raise taxes based on the results of a budget survey, currently underway. (Port City Daily photo/Johanna Ferebee)
The Town of Leland could raise taxes based on the results of a budget survey, currently underway. (Port City Daily photo/Johanna Ferebee)

LELAND — In public meetings this year, Leland’s residents have spoken up about a variety of issues, from flooding concerns to potholes. To address these issues, the town is considering raising taxes, but is asking its residents for their opinions first.

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In its “Fall 2018 Budget Survey” the town is running a list of ideas by its residents. If every pitch is approved and later implemented, in theory, it would result in a $0.34 tax increase. For a $200,000 home, that would be an extra $680 a year.

The town also asked residents to rank their highest priority concerns, and weigh whether or not they felt an hour of standing water covering roadways during normal storm events was acceptable.

Survey results will be considered as the town works out its 2019-2020 budget. Available online, the survey’s deadline is Jan. 9.

Estimated cost for services

Specific tax increases are estimated for the following issues:

  • $.05 increase for the town to own and maintain all stormwater ponds and systems that managed the ponds.
    • The town is considering managing stormwater ponds located in neighborhoods in which existing ponds are owned by homeowners associations. In August, the town revealed the results of a flood study after looking into the cost to fix issues in several neighborhoods across town. The study concluded a majority of issues were the responsibility of the homeowners associations
  • $.02 increase for the town to offer pick-up recycling
  • $.04 increase for the town to offer monthly vegetative debris pickup
  • $.02 increase for the town to pick up trash and mow major highway corridors in town limits on a monthly basis.
    • North Carolina Department of Transportation currently performs this service three times a year.
  • $.01 increase for the town to perform quarterly road sweeps.
  • $.015 increase for the town to increase the Brunswick Connector’s bus frequency to run every 30 minutes.
    • Currently, the system serves 121 riders per week and runs on an hourly basis.
  • $.02 increase to subsidize affordable housing
  • $.02 increase for the town to increase police patrols in neighborhoods from two-to-four times a day to add an additional two visits per day.
  •  $.05 increase to reduce response fire and emergency response time by one minute.
    • Leland’s Fire Department’s response time is currently 7.5 minutes, while Emergency Services response time is 8.5 minutes.
  • $.02 increase to provide financial support to non-profits working to minimize opioid abuse
    • So far this year, 23 doses of Narcan were administered in opioid-related emergencies in the Leland Fire district.
  • $.02 increase to ensure each patrol shift has its own K9 officer on staff.
    • Leland Police Department currently employs one K9 officer.
  • $.005 increase to shorten the timeframe for repairing potholes and other street maintenance activities.
    • According to the survey, the town repairs potholes within one week of being notified.
  • $.05 increase to improve the town’s roads appearance.
    • The town maintains roadways according to functionality standards, often patching rather than repaving issues. This proposed tax increase would be attributed to maintaining the road’s “aesthetics.”

Send tips and comments to Johanna Ferebee at johanna@localvoicemedia.com

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