Round Hill residents will see a reduction in their real estate tax bills this coming year.
The Town Council on Thursday night voted to adopt an $8.3 million Fiscal Year 2021 budget, which is up by about $1 million over the current fiscal year. Most notable in the new budget is a 6.1-cent reduction in the real estate tax rate, in-town utility rates that combined are up by a little more than a half-dollar per 1,000 gallons and out-of-town utility rates that are up by a combined nearly 80 cents.
Residents can expect to see their annual real estate bills drop, even with this year’s 5-percent increase in the value of the average Round Hill single-family home—which is now up to about $431,300, according to the county Commissioner of the Revenue’s 2020 Assessment Report. The average single-family homeowner should expect to see their annual real estate bill drop by $230, down to $431.
The drop in the tax rate by more than a nickel will provide the town with about $56,000 less in revenue than in Fiscal Year 2020. The town hasn’t pulled in that little from the tax in more than a decade. But the Fiscal Year 2021 General Fund is still up by about $11,000, largely because of a transfer from the Utility Fund that’s $38,000 more than what the town budgeted for in the current fiscal year and an anticipated $12,000 jump in sales tax revenue.
On the utility side of the budget, in-town and out-of-town water and sewer users will see an increase in their bi-monthly bills.
In-town water users will pay 21 cents more for every 1,000 gallons of water they use and 31 cents more for every 1,000 of wastewater they use.
But the majority of the town’s 1,640 utility customers reside outside the town’s corporate limits, meaning 1,400 users will be paying a bit more for water and sewer service. Those out-of-town users will pay 31 cents more for every 1,000 gallons of water they use and 47 cents more for wastewater use.
The increased utility rates will provide the town with about $1,000 more in water user fee revenue and about $30,000 more in sewer user fee revenue.
Amid the coronavirus crisis, the Town Council Thursday night also voted to adopt an emergency resolution to suspend utility disconnections for customers who are late paying their bills. The town will also not charge any new late fees or interest on past due utility accounts until 30 days after the state of emergency ends.
Mayor Scott Ramsey said that vote is a common response from most utility companies statewide.
“We want residents focused on their health and the health of their community,” he said.