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Oakwood set to OK 2017 budget in November
stan brown 0701
Stan Brown

Oakwood is poised to approve its 2017 budget next month, following a public hearing Monday night that drew no residents.

The city is proposing an overall $5.3 million spending plan to take effect Jan. 1: a nearly $4 million general fund largely supported by property taxes and fees; a $600,000 special purpose local option sales tax fund; and a $700,000 sewer fund shored up by fees and other income sources.

The budget contains nothing out of the ordinary — it mainly keeps operations flowing and debts paid.

“It’s just a few thousand dollars more than what it was last year,” City Manager Stan Brown said after the meeting. “There’s nothing extreme.”

Brown spoke briefly during the meeting about the budget, having given a bigger presentation at an earlier council work session.

“This budget does accomplish the goals that we set forth,” Brown said.

Some of the key items the city is funding — or repaying debt on — are Thurmon Tanner Parkway, the Upper Mulberry sewer system and land bought as part of its Oakwood 2030 long-range development plan.

Also, the city is busy with several road improvements, including widening of a stretch of Old Oakwood Road near Mundy Mill Road and contributing to a multi-government effort to build a bridge that would extend Tumbling Creek Road across railroad tracks to Old Oakwood Road.

Oakwood residents will have to pay a little more for city functions next year, as a declining property tax digest — or list of taxable properties — is producing lower revenues.

Just to keep revenues the same, the council has voted to up the tax rate to 4.174 mills from 4, with 1 mill equal to $1 per $1,000 in assessed property value, which is 40 percent of the fair market value minus exemptions.

Under that increase, the owner of property with a $100,000 fair market value and no exemptions could see taxes go from $160 to nearly $167.

Tax bills are expected to be sent Nov. 1, and the budget is expected to be adopted at the 7 p.m. meeting Nov. 14.

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