Tommy Mann Jr.

For The Record

Residents of Pinehurst will have the same ad valorem tax rate for the coming fiscal year.

The City of Pinehurst met this past week and councilmembers have proposed an ad valorem tax rate of $0.69799 per $100 valuation for the 2016-2017 fiscal year, which is the same tax rate from the previous three years.

“We are not raising the tax rate,” said Robbie Hood, city manager of Pinehurst. “Since the proposed (ad valorem) tax rate is not an increase over the previous rate, we are not required to hold the two public hearings which are required by law when an increase is proposed.”

For a tax payer with a house valued at $100,000, this property owner would pay $697.99 in ad valorem property taxes. The tax rate may not have increased, but the value of the property may have, depending on the latest valuation by the Orange County Appraisal District, which would cause an increase in taxes.

City councilmembers will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, Sept. 13, for its annual budget.

According to Hood, the city is has created a budget of approximately $2.5 million for the coming fiscal year. This budget includes a pay increase for all city employees and vehicle purchases for the city.

“This budget is roughly the same as last year, and it includes a 3 percent pay increase for all employees,” Hood added. “It includes the purchase of three vehicles. Two of the vehicles will be Ford F-150s at about $22,000 each, and one vehicle will be a new police cruiser.”

One of the new trucks will be used for the waste water department, while the other truck will be purchased for animal control. The new police cruiser will be purchased with a matching grant, which will reduce the cost of the vehicle by 50 percent to the city.

“Anytime you can purchase a new vehicle for 50 percent off, then you try to find a way to do it,” Hood said.

The City of Pinehurst will be increasing rates for certain services, such as commercial container service, solid waste disposal and brush and limb removal, by 3 percent for the coming fiscal year. This is a reflection of the rate increase by Republic Services to the city, which handles waste removal.

“Republic kept the same rates for us in the first year of the contract, but years two and three would have a 3 percent increase in the consumer price index,” Hood explained.

In order to cover the costs of the price increase, the City of Pinehurst has adopted fees to cover the cost associated with collection and disposal of residential and commercial solid waste, as well as brush and limbs.

The cost for a single family residence is $22.86 per month, but for an additional cart the cost is an additional $5.15 per month. The fee for multi-family residential service is $22.86 per month.

Small commercial service is $42.41 per month for one cart with an additional $5.15 fee per month per additional cart.

The fees for monthly commercial service vary by size of container and frequency of collection each week.

In other news, the city will continue using the Texas Municipal League for employee health insurance, while dental and vision will be provided by Principal Insurance.