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Proposed South Boston budget sees minor tweak

South Boston Town Council did little to tweak a proposed $9,537,427 budget for 2013-2014 during its work session on Monday.

Town staff is not projecting any tax increases, rate increases or fee increases in the proposed budget.

No salary increases are proposed for town employees in the draft budget except through the pay for performance pool, increased from $56,000 to $64,499.

The proposed budget represents almost a $2 million decrease over the current year budget of $11,456,802, the difference driven primarily and predominately by capital improvements not included in this year’s figures.

Council, however, recommended increasing the anticipated amount of personal property tax collections in the proposed budget from $445,000 to $465,000, after hearing Town Finance Officer Erle Scott’s monthly report.

Scott told council personal property tax collections as of Feb. 28 amounted to $483,401, 111 percent over the $435,000 budgeted for the current fiscal year.

Scott indicated the DMV Stop Program has contributed to that particular line item and agreed with Councilman Coleman Speece’s suggestion it be raised $20,000.

That amount in turn will be reflected in the town reserve for contingencies.

Real estate tax collections ($825,516) are running below expectations and may not reach its goal of $870,000, Scott said.

“I’m a little disappointed,” said Scott, who told council personal property tax is usually harder to get in than real estate tax.

Overall, year-to-date expenditures are running ahead of revenues, $6,697,907 to $6,418,601, with state aid for law enforcement and funds for VDOT lane mileage pending, according to Scott.

Other selected General Fund revenues (year-to-date) include personal property tax relief, $295,432 out of a budget of $295,432, or 100 percent; local taxes, $281,748 out of a budget of $385,000, 73 percent; occupancy taxes, $101,668 out of a budget of $125,000, 81 percent; meals tax $749,765 out of a budget of $1,050,000, 71 percent; business license tax, $366,705 out of a budget of $490,000, 75 percent.

Scott’s delinquent tax report reflected a total of $126,790.14 collected as of March 20, out of a budget of $130,350, or 97 percent of goal.

That amount reflects $35,613.53 in delinquent personal property tax relief collections; $41,262.60 in delinquent real estate tax collections; $19,279.43 in delinquent personal property tax collections; and $280.06 in delinquent mobile home tax collections.

Street closing
issue advances

Council advanced to its April 8 council agenda the closing and abandoning of the remaining portion of Prospect Avenue and the entire length of Grove Street, between Penick Avenue and Jefferson Avenue.

Both right-of-ways have never been opened or used by the public, and both lie on Washington-Coleman School property owned by the town.

Beverly Caldwell, a resident of 1505 Penick Avenue, addressed council during a public hearing in support of the closing and asked to purchase a 30x197-foot strip of land adjacent to her property.

A board of viewers appointed by council found no inconvenience to the public by closing the streets and recommended the 30x197-foot portion of Grove Street be sold to Caldwell for $1,500.

In other business, council advanced to its April 8 meeting agenda consideration of the appointment of an interim vice-mayor until the November election and also advanced to its April 8 meeting agenda consideration of General Obligation Bond financing for $2,355,000 for the Washington-Coleman Early Learning Center and Community Center.

A public hearing on the issue is set for that meeting.