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Midland budget shows new developments increase tax base, little pandemic impact
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Midland budget shows new developments increase tax base, little pandemic impact

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The Midland proposed budget for the next fiscal year includes funds for a major repaving project and a new holiday celebration.

Town Manager Doug Paris presented the proposed fiscal year 2021-22 budget to the town council Tuesday. Paris explained that the budget will keep the same tax rate and fees as the previous year. The town’s general fund is budgeted at $2,325,954.

New development and multiple voluntary annexations have helped the town’s tax base grow by 7.8% for this upcoming fiscal year. That development includes two new subdivisions, Wicker Park and Midland Crossing, that will break ground in the coming year. These subdivisions are projected to add $78 million to the town’s tax base as they are built out through 2025.

This has helped the town keep its current ad valorem tax rate of $0.22 per $100 of assessed valuation. The town sees a tax collection rate of about 97.5%, which will generate $1,238,608, making ad valorem taxes the town’s largest revenue source.

One of the larger budget projects in the proposed budget is the repaving of Gelding Drive and Pelham Lane, which will be a $180,000 project. The study on the town’s roads in the fiscal year 2016-17 marked these streets for repaving. The town has repaved about two roads each fiscal year since that study. But the town chose not to repave any roads during the current fiscal year and stored the funds for later use. The proposed budget shows $83,351 in Powell Bill revenues and $96,549 in Powell Bill reserves for this project. This has left the town with enough funds for the repaving project, which will hopefully add about 20 years of life to the roads.

The budget also includes funds for the town’s first Fourth of July fireworks show and new Christmas decorations.

There are $25,800 in the Public Event Fund for the fireworks show, which will take place July 2. This amount includes the cost of the fireworks vendor, event manager, portable lighting, porta-johns, handwashing stations, and sanitation. The budget also includes $28,000 in the Advertising and PR line item for an additional 3-foot Christmas tree section and decorative baubles for the crossroads.

Under law enforcement, the two patrol vehicles the town is responsible for are nearing their end-of-life. After four years of use, they are tipping into triple digits, Paris said, and will need to be replaced. But due to Ford redesigning the patrol vehicle model, the cost to replace the vehicles will increase. Usually, equipment in the vehicles can be removed from the old vehicles and placed in the new. But due to new interior dimensions, the vehicles will need to be fitted with resized equipment.

The town will also cover the cost of the body camera system that works as the vehicle’s in-car camera. That cost is about $11,000.

The town also saw very little impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to online sales tax. And most of the lost sales tax revenue was made up as businesses reopened. One item that did take a hit was the town’s revenue from its assistance with the city of Monroe’s gas line. While the gas line is a significant revenue source for the town, its projected generated revenue for the upcoming fiscal year is smaller than previous years due to decreased commercial and industrial usage as a result of COVID-19 closures.

The town will hold a public comment period and a vote on the proposed fiscal year 2021-22 budget at the town council’s June 8 meeting.

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