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Back You are here: Home Opinion Opinion Section Editorials View of a Councilman: The 2012-2013 Budget

View of a Councilman: The 2012-2013 Budget

By ROBERT LEWIS
Carolina Beach Town Councilman

I am happy to report that after our last budget meeting we seem to be making progress toward a lower tax rate than the .26 cents per hundred reported in last week’s edition.   During our most recent budget meeting the town manager in conjunction with members of council identified over $300,000.00 of potential under-estimated revenue projections for 2012/2013 from various sources.  This simple adjustment in projected revenues can immediately provide a 2 cent reduction in our projected tax rate for 2012/2013.  This additional revenue along with a number of cost cutting measures identified at the meeting estimated over $430,000.00 of potential cost cuts which could provide an additional tax rate adjustment if approved. 
Each $165,000.00+ or so of new revenue or cost cuts provides approximately 1 cent reduction in our property tax rate per $100.00 of valuation.
On the cost cutting measures council member Sarah Friede presented an idea to use an outside consultant (at no charge to the town) to conduct a town wide energy audit to see if we can identify opportunities where we can save money using new technology .  
Council member Steve Shuttleworth provided a list of recommendations around not replacing some current openings with full time employees thus saving money and I promoted the recommendation of consolidating a department and not replacing a retiring Director’s position.  All of these recommendations are focused on ensuring we take care of our current employees who continue to do a great job for our town residents. 
These ideas and more will be considered at May’s council meeting (May 8th @ 6:30PM) as we have our first public hearing on a proposed budget with some options presented by the town manager.  
We encourage town residents to attend to voice their opinions and express their ideas as well.
I am personally encouraged that we will come to an agreement on a budget which represents a tax rate which could be lower than revenue neutral and still provide our residents with good service levels.  I as a number of members on council do not believe in big government and feel the mission of local government is to primarily provide for public safety, infrastructure needs, clean water and waste treatment.  
These opinions are my own and do not reflect those of other members on council. 
Bob Lewis. Carolina Beach Town Council