OYSTER CREEK — The work done at the beginning of the month paid dividends for the City Council last week as they quickly and quietly passed their annual budget and the tax rate for the 2022-23 fiscal year.
The town settled on the no-new revenue rate of just under 22 cents per $100 of taxable value, though it still resulted in what was estimated to be a little over $3,300 more than the city had brought in last year. On Tuesday they held their public hearing.
“It was short, sweet and we were out,” Councilman Lonnie Carr Jr. said.
Two days later, they made their feelings official through unanimous votes on all budget and tax ordinances put forward.
“Let me just point out, since you guys are sticking to the no-new tax revenue rate, you don’t have any of those mandatory speeches in the motion,” City Attorney Larry Boyd said regarding the state’s rules towards cities announcing tax increases, as they knocked the ordinances out one by one.
Mayor Justin Mills expressed his pleasure with the budget that passed, having attempted to keep property taxes lower after valuations came in at about 10 percent higher than last year.
The general fund total came out to approximately $2.17 million, just under $20,000 more than the previous year. The enterprise fund dropped $23,000 from last year to just under $1.4 million.
“If y’all been watching the papers— we ought to be rockstars on this. We ought to be, but unfortunately, there’s not a dog leash law tied to it so we don’t have a full house,” he said, joking with the council.
In other business, council held an executive session to decide whether to change the compensation offered to the City Attorney. When they returned to regular session, they voted to approve a $10 per hour increase, from $250 to $260.
The council will decide in the coming weeks whether they will hold their regular meeting on October 6.