Residents in Christiansburg will not face an increase in property taxes in the coming fiscal year, but there will be several minor increases in fees and surcharges.
The just-over $60 million budget was approved by a 6-0 council vote on Tuesday night. The proposed real estate tax rate will remain at 16 cents per $100 of assessed value.
Water rates will rise a dollar, from $7 for 1,000 gallons to $8. Above 1000 to 50,000 gallons, the rate will increase from $9 to $10. Those out-of-town residents served by the town will see their rate rise from $10.50 for 1,000 gallons to $12. For over-1000 to 50,000 gallons, the rate will now be $15, up from $13.50.
Treasurer Valerie Tweedie said the rate increase is in response to an increase in the Regional Water Authority charges. The money will help fund improvements to an aging infrastructure within the town.
Sewer rates will not increase this coming year, but there will be a slight rise from $40 to $50 for building and planning review.
The budget includes a two percent merit pool for town employees.
“A “merit pool” is pooled funds used to distribute a pay increase to employees based on their performance,” said Tweedie. “They get an annual evaluation and the two percent is distributed across the entire eligible employee pool.”
The town will also open property maintenance, network systems and radio service technician positions.
Tweedie said forecasts project that existing revenue streams should increase 3.86 percent over the next year, while expenditures for the general fund are expected to be 3.28 percent.
The council also approved four boundary adjustments that move land to the town of Christiansburg from Montgomery County.
Those adjustments moved the Meadows Golf Course and Shepherd property, about 125.5 acres, located on the western boundary of the Christiansburg along Chrisman Mill Road and Norfolk Southern Railroad right-of-way; moved the Crosspointe -FourSquare Conference Center and Christiansburg pump station, just over 176 acres, located on the southwestern boundary of the Christiansburg, adjacent to Route 8 and Interstate 81; 26.043 acres from the unincorporated area of the County of Montgomery into the incorporated Town of Christiansburg; the property Tax Map Numbers 95-(5)-1 and 94-(5)-2 located on the southern boundary of the Town of Christiansburg, adjacent to Falling Branch Road and the Interstate 81 northbound entrance ramp “D” at Exit 118 B; and 0.360 acres, a portion of property Tax Map Numbers 530-(18)- 1-7 located on the southern boundary of the Christiansburg, near the intersection of Curtis Drive and Giles Drive.
The adjustments were okay’d earlier in the week.
Council also agreed to waive a registration fee for Airbnbs. Initially, the town was charging $40 for inspection and registration. So far, only seven of the homestays are registered within the town and are expected to pay lodging taxes. Those Airbnbs that have paid the registration fee will have the amount refunded.