Roanoke City Council recently set a public hearing date for Sept. 24 for adoption of the 2014 budget and tax rate, with no increase in rates.The proposed budget includes a tax rate of 37.512 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, making it the city’s 17th year without an increase to the total tax rate.“This is attributable to years of significant retail growth and healthy assessed valuations,” City Manager Scott Campbell said. “This has shifted a portion of the tax burden away from property taxes, allowing us to maintain a stable rate while adding services to keep up with growth.”Campbell said general fund revenues are proposed at a 4 percent increase from the current budget and most of the major revenue categories are projected to increase for FY 2014.“We should realize additional property tax due to new construction and increased valuation,” he said. “Current collections indicate sales tax is trending upward and the proposed budget conservatively reflects that.”Campbell said there are no recommendations to cut to current programming.City employees will see a 3.5 percent cost of living increase and a mid-year merit-based raise of 4 percent.Employee health care costs will increase 22 percent, Campbell said. The city plans to hire one firefighter/paramedic, one traffic patrol supervisor and buy miscellaneous public safety equipment.Also proposed for the new budget year are IT and computer upgrades, additional recreation program equipment, minor facility upgrades and a special event for the spring.
Susan McFarland, 817-390-7547 Twitter: @susanmcfarland1