Maiden approves 1 cent tax break

Maiden residents will see a one cent tax break during the next fiscal year that will save town members nearly $80,000.
The new tax rate of 39 cents per $100 of valuation will be the lowest municipal tax rate in Catawba County, said Maiden Town Manager Todd Herms.
Maiden’s town council unanimously approved its new tax rate and $13,014,565 budget Monday night with no comments from the public.  
“This is roughly the same budget from last year, but there is a one cent tax decrease,” Herms said.
The Maiden Town Council held a public hearing before approving the budget, but no one in the crowd of 10-15 people wanted to speak.
Herms said the tax break is possible due to recent economic success.  
“Unlike other towns, we’ve had some great economic news,” Herms told The O-N-E on May 14. “The council thought it was right to only tax to the level that was needed.”
That “great economic news” revolves around jobs.
In the past three years, more than 600 new jobs were moved to or created in Maiden. Some of those emerged when furniture powerhouse Ethan Allen brought back 152 workers last year that were previously laid off. Herms also said new jobs with Von Drehle Corp. and the Apple Data Center also helped the town's economy.
Despite the property tax break, the town’s electric rates will increase due to hikes by the North Carolina Municipal Power Agency 1 (NCMPA).
Herms said that because the town divides its funds into three separate “accounts,” it is very difficult to move money around to offset the increase in electricity because of state and federal laws. For this reason, the town does not move money between budgets, he said.
“Every budget has its purpose,” Herms said. “We can’t take money from electric and give it to police, for example.”
During the 2010-11 year, Maiden came in under budget. Money carrying over, or rolling over, from last year’s budget is being put into a capital improvement fund instead of a fund balance, Herms said.
For more information on Maidens FY 2011-12 budget, contact Maiden Town Hall at (828) 428-5000.