Brunswick property tax rate to stay the same for FY23

Jun. 24—Brunswick has passed a $13.5 million budget for the next fiscal year in which the property tax rate will remain the same but with an increase in water, sewer and trash rates.

On Tuesday, the City Council unanimously approved the city’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget, which has a 14% increase in general fund expenses and revenue.

The general fund for FY23 is $8 million, a $1.1 million increase from the FY22 general fund of $6.9 million. The increase was attributed to money from the American Rescue Plan Act.

In the current fiscal year, the city’s total budget was $13.3 million.

Tax revenue is estimated to increase 14 percent in the coming year due to more houses being built, City Administrator David Dunn said.

“We’re putting about 100 a year out of Brunswick Crossing,” Dunn said, referring to a development near Md. 17. “And these houses, you know, are throughout the year, so obviously more houses create more property tax.”

The property tax rate for the fiscal year will remain at 41 cents per $100 of assessed value, according to city documents.

Utility revenue, which includes services such as trash, will see a 21% increase.

Also Tuesday, the council unanimously approved a new contract with J & J Trash Services for trash collection.

In the new contract, Dunn said, there will be a 67-cent increase for the monthly unit cost the city pays J & J, bringing it from $7.15 to $7.82 per pickup.

Per quarter, residents will pay an additional $2.50 for trash collection, bringing the fee from $24.50 to $27.00. Restaurant and food-service establishments will have to pay a different fee of $250 for trash collection per quarter, Dunn said.

“So not only do we have to pay [J & J] to pick it up, we have to pay the county to go to the landfill and dispose of it, so we’re collecting to offset those charges,” Dunn said.

Water and sewer rates will increase 2% for all tiers, Dunn said. Rates differ depending on whether a resident lives in town or out of town for water and what tier a resident falls into, Dunn said. Tiers are the same across the board.

For in-city water users, there is a minimum base charge of $59.30 for 4,000 gallons.

After that, a rate is imposed per 1,000 gallons.

Tier 1, for 4,001 to 10,000 gallons, used has a rate of $8.32. Tier 2, between 10,001 and 22,000 gallons, has a rate of $13.18.

The last tier, Tier 3 with 22,001 gallons and more, has a rate of $14.83.

Out-of-city water rates begin with a base of $80.11 for 4,000 gallons. The Tier 1 rate is $9.63, the tier 2 rate is $14.57 and the tier 3 rate is $16.65.

Sewage rates are for both users inside and outside the city. The base fee is $60.03, followed by Tier 1 with a rate of $8.55, Tier 2 with a rate of $17.37 and Tier 3 with a rate of $20.13.

Expenditures for the Police Department and public works are increasing 15% and 23%, respectively, partially due to additional employees. The town has added a police officer, a maintenance specialist and a water operator.

“As we add more residents, we need to add more employees,” Dunn said.

All other expenditure increases come from additional costs across the board such as gas, Dunn said.

There are also costs for the new building for the Police Department and public works, such as furniture and IT.

Follow Clara Niel on Twitter: @clarasniel

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