South Boston Town Council is slated to take a final vote on the town’s budget for the upcoming year, along with a proposed real estate tax increase, at its Monday evening meeting.
The meeting is set for 7 pm in Council Chambers at 502 Yancey St.
The proposed increase is to raise the real estate tax rate 6 cents, from the current rate of 21 cents per $100 of assessed value to 27 cents. The real estate tax has been at its current rate of 21 cents since 2015, when it went up from 19 cents in 2014.
At its May work session, council approved the proposed $15,310,982 budget for the 2022-22 fiscal year containing the tax increase on the first reading. The proposed budget is about a 23.5% increase from the previous fiscal year.
Vice mayor Bob Hughes made the motion to approve the budget/tax increase and councilman Joe Chandler seconded the motion. The motion passed in a 4-1 vote, with councilman Tommy Elliott casting the lone dissenting vote.
Elliott stated he had “heartburn” about placing an “extra burden on the household budgets” in the form of a tax increase when inflation had driven up the prices of gasoline, food and other household necessities in the past few months.
Hughes said while a tax increase is “not ideal,” he views it as allowing the town to keep its “head above water” for several years in terms of the services it provides to its citizens.
Providing a pay increase for the town’s employees is one of the main reasons for the proposed tax increase, town manager Tom Raab shared with council. He said the town decided to give the town’s employees the pay increase because of inflation.
Along with approving the budget and tax and fee list at Monday’s meeting, council plans to honor former town councilman Bill Snead for his years of service with a resolution. Snead resigned from his seat on town council effective April 30 after moving out of town. He served four terms on council.
Council also is expected to hear a report on Destination Downtown South Boston from the organization’s executive director Tamyra Vest. Vest plans to share DDSB’s cumulative program statistics for last year with council.
Also on the meeting agenda are the following items:
• A petition from Jack Dunavant of Halifax to purchase the CH Friend School ballfield property for the price of $71,037. The CH Friend Field was acquired from Halifax County School Board after the town’s reversion in 2008 and currently is used by the South Boston Recreation Department and others for limited recreation.
• An application by Andrew Barksdale for a certificate of convenience and necessity for a limousine service.
• Appointments of Larry Clark to the Halifax County South Boston Regional Library, and Frank Lee and George Burton to the South Boston Industrial Development Authority.