06/22/08 — Pikeville to ask for 10-cent tax increase, Fremont will not

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Pikeville to ask for 10-cent tax increase, Fremont will not

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on June 22, 2008 2:01 AM

The town of Pikeville has dared to buck statewide trends on not increasing taxes, as they look for a property tax increase.

Pikeville is the only prevalent northern municipality to propose a tax increase, as Fremont has chosen to freeze all taxes and fees except one, the town administrator reported.

"There is no tax increase, water (rate) increase, sewer increase, and no change in the garbage fee," McDuffie said.

But in Pikeville, some town officials believe

Town Clerk Kathie Fields said that commissioners are seeking a 10 cent increase for each $100 in property valuation.

The current rate is $0.50 cents per $100, making the new proposed rate $0.60 cents per $100, Mrs. Fields said.

Pikeville residents who want a chance to comment on the proposed property tax increase may do so at a June 24 public hearing at 7 p.m., at the town's community building.

But such an increase intended to bolster the town's general fund and give it ability to fully deal with a once-aging electrical system and other infrastructure problems.

One particular problem is the town's water tank systems, and town official plan on addressing that as a single $2 line item.

Pikeville also plans on increasing the garbage collection rate, from $10 to $10.50 monthly, Mrs. Fields said.

In Fremont, there is one anticipated cost increase for residents, but it's one that all consumers of Progress Energy are racing, the town administrator said.

One other change is in utility deposit rates, with a completely new rate structure, McDuffie said.

Homeowners will now pay $200 for a deposit on town provided utilities, while renters will pay $300, and may be subject to a credit check.

The credit check is a new procedure for Fremont, and McDuffie said the decision had to do with people -- particularly renters according to the town's statistics -- to pay the fee.

Renters with a poor credit rating may be subject to a higher utility deposit fee -- $400, the town administrator said.

McDuffie said the decision to increase the fees had to do with many people failing to to pay up.

"It's mainly renters we're having problems with," McDuffie said.

McDuffie said that the town may revisit the deposit rates if collection of the fees continues to be a problem.