The Hudson town council is considering a general fund budget of $4 million for 2021-22, a $780,000 increase from last year.
It would keep the tax rate unchanged 43 cents per $100 of assessed value despite an increase in property values due to a countywide revaluation. How much any individual tax bill could go up depends on the change in its assessment, but the average change was about 13%.
Last year’s budget was conservative due to financial challenges that the pandemic brought on, Town Manager Rebecca Bentley said. The increase in spending this year is to cover salary increases for town employees, equipment purchases and the dinner theater. None of those things were on the budget last year because of the financial strain caused by the pandemic, she said.
She said the sanitation rate for garbage collection will remain at $9 per month for residents and $18 per month for businesses that have pick-up twice a week.
Hudson gets its water and sewer services from Lenoir, so residents of Hudson pay the rates set by the city of Lenoir, Bentley said. Lenoir has raised water and sewer rates by 2%.
Bentley said that the town prioritizes public safety and aims to efficiently provide town services with the budget funds. Doing what they can to help residents and employees is at the top of the list.
“We want to maintain a clean and safe environment in which to live,” she said. “We need to make sure that we have safe and efficient equipment for our employees to use to provide those services. Anything we can do to keep our people safe is important.”
She also said providing recreational opportunities and hosting cultural events through the HUB Station are priorities as well.
There will be a public hearing on the budget at Hudson Town Hall on June 15 at 6 p.m.
Reporter Carmen Boone can be reached at 828-610-8723