PIEDMONT TRIAD - Winston-Salem and High Point have approved city budgets for fiscal year 2013-2014.
The City of High Point passed its budget Monday night. Next year's budget is $342 million, with no new tax increases.
A $5 feed will be charged per month for garbage collection, and all High Point Electricity customers will see a 4.9% rate increase.
Greensboro City Council is expected to approve its budget Tuesday night. The city put forth its final budget proposal at its May 21 meeting.
The Winston-Salem City council approved a $378 million budget for 2013-2014, Monday.
According to a news release issued by Winston-Salem, city services will cost the same, Trans-Aid and some bus routes will begin Sunday hours and property owners whose property declined in value by 8 percent or more will pay less in city property taxes, under the new budget.
The budget sets the property tax rate at 53 cents per $100 of assessed value. This is 3.9 cents higher than the current rate of 49.1 cents; however, more than 60 percent of city property owners will see their tax bill decline because of the drop in house values.
The new budget is 3.4 percent lower than the current fiscal year's $392 million budget. It allocates $307.4 million for operations and debt service and $71.5 million for capital improvements. The budget will take effect July 1.
The tax rate's impact depends on the individual's property value. Here's an example:
An owner of a $100,000 house whose value did not change will pay $39 more in property taxes. If that house dropped 5 percent in value to $95,000, the tax bill will increase $13. If the house dropped 8 percent in value to $92,000, the tax bill will drop $3.
The budget reduces city spending by cutting jobs and buying new equipment to make city operation more efficient such as hybrid buses and side-loading garbage trucks.
The budget allows for Trans-Aid and select bus routes to operate on Sundays from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The Winston-Salem Transit Authority estimates that it will take about four months to start this service.
The city payroll will be reduced by 52 positions, including 28 positions related to the sale of LJVM Coliseum and Bowman Gray Stadium.
The City of WInston-Salem