The Lovettsville Town Council last week adopted a 16.25-cent real estate tax rate, a 2.6-cent reduction, but one still expected to result in higher tax bills for the town’s homeowners.
Town Manager Jason Cournoyer had proposed a 15.2-cent tax rate, but also recommended a 17.27-cent alternative rate that would fully fund the town’s capital construction plan without dipping into reserve funds.
In a year when the value of residential properties increased 17.6% on average, the council would have had to cut the tax rate to 14.6 cents per $100 of assessed value to hold tax bills level.
During the final budget markup session March 24, Vice Mayor Chris Hornbaker proposed the 16.25-cent tax rate, which will require the use of $33,500 in undesignated reserves to balance the budget.
The town estimated the adopted tax rate will increase the bill for single family detached homes by $49.26 per year on average. Tax bills for townhouses would go up by $33.73 on average.
The adopted budget includes a $1.75 million General Fund, $2.34 million Utility Funds, and $261,650 Event Fund. Another $1.2 million is planned for General Fund capital projects.
The council also approved Cournoyer’s recommendation to increase water and sewer rates by 3%. The town manager said those hikes are not expected to add revenue to utility funds, but seek to balance a decline in water usage experienced over the past year. The changes are expected to increase bills by less than $3 per month.