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No tax hike for CH

By Susan Dickson
Staff Writer

CHAPEL HILL – The Chapel Hill Town Council voted unanimously on Monday to approve the town’s 2012-13 budget, with no property-tax increase.

Town Manager Roger Stancil had previously proposed a budget that included a half-cent tax increase to fund increasing transit costs, but council members ultimately decided to transfer $364,000 from the general fund to cover the transit increase.

The budget holds the property tax rate at 49.4 cents per $100 of property valuation, $988 for a $200,000 home. Overall, the town’s general-fund expenditures are up 3.7 percent to $52.4 million from $50.5 million in 2011-12.

“I think you should be proud that the Town of Chapel Hill has made it through that recession without raising the tax rate during that time,” Stancil said.

The budget reestablishes Community Center Pool hours for Tuesdays and Thursdays, funding the expanded hours through an increase in the fee for private swim lessons from $15 to $20 and a $1 increase in the daily admission fee at all pools. A number of residents had expressed concern regarding cuts to daytime hours at the pool in the 2011-12 budget.

The proposed budget also includes a 3 percent raise for town employees, who have not received a salary increase since 2008-09; the reinstatement of the town’s $43,000 July 4 fireworks event; filling seven vacant police positions; $111,000 in street-resurfacing funds; and $240,000 to finish work on the town’s fiber network. The budget also uses about $1.5 million of fund balance, the town’s savings account.

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