Payson Homeowners - Small Property Tax Increase

Photo by Andy Towle. |


The Payson Town Council says residents should expect to see only a minor increase in their property tax bill this year, at least on payments owed to the town.

Payson has increased the primary tax rate 9 percent over last year, but due to a drop in assessed value, the average homeowner should see a dollar increase in their annual bill, or 8 cents every month, according to Mayor Kenny Evans.

Evans said he figured this because Payson has about 9,000 homes and the rate increase will generate an additional $9,800 in income for the town’s fiscal 2013-14 budget. That works out to $1 a home.

Evans stipulated some homeowners might not see an increase at all with several new, large businesses in town absorbing most of the rate increase. If a homeowner’s assessed value dropped, the tax bill could actually go down.

The tax rate, 38 cents, is far less than Globe’s rate, which sits at $1.32.

The budget for the upcoming year includes 155 employees, a significant drop from four years ago before the recession hit. However, the budget for fiscal 2014 adopted recently by the council includes $8.4 million on salaries for those 155 workers — which average $54,000 per employee. Benefit costs total about $3.5 million — which works out to about $22,000 per worker.

This year the $5.6 million in sales taxes provided the bulk of Payson’s $12 million general fund budget. Next year the town expects sales tax collections to rise to $5.8 million and the general fund to jump to $13 million.

By contrast, property taxes should bring in only about $637,000.

The budget also projects a $200,000 rise in state-shared revenue to about $3 million, which includes sales, gas and income taxes collected by the state and doled out on a per-capita basis.

The vehicle license tax from the sale of cars will provide the next biggest source of revenue — about $875,000. That’s just ahead of grants — mostly from the state and federal government — budgeted at $868,000. However, the town puts those grants in the budget, even though it doesn’t know if it will actually get any money from that source.

The town’s water department shows up in a separate fund. The town expects spending in the water department to rise by about $300,000 to a total of about $4.7 million. In addition, the budget calls for spending about $12 million from the water department’s enterprise fund — mostly on building the Blue Ridge pipeline.

The total of all the town’s various funds comes to nearly $31 million, but that includes millions worth of projects that will likely not get started in the next 12 months — like putting in millions in infrastructure for hundreds of acres up near the airport in an improvement district.

The town’s general fund spending will remain about the same as the budget adopted a year ago, although it will jump compared to the amount of money the town actually spent by department.

For instance, the police department this year had a general fund budget of $4.4 million, but spent only $3.9 million. In the upcoming year, the budget will rise to $4.5 million.

The fire department had a $3.6 million budget, but spent just $3 million. The general fund budget for the upcoming year will rise to $3.2 million.


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