The Town of Walkersville’s Town Commissioners voted to lower property taxes last night at their Town Meeting. After discussing persistent budget surpluses year after year, Town Commissioners felt the town could easily afford reducing the property tax rate.
Walkersville already has the lowest tax rate in Maryland for a municipality with more than three-thousand residents. The current tax rate is 16¢ per hundred dollars of assessed real property value.
During discussions in a budget workshop two weeks ago, Burgess Chad Weddle explained that the constant yield tax rate for fiscal year 2021 would be 15.4¢ per hundred dollars of assessed real property value. That rate is what the town would need to charge to take in the same amount of money as the previous fiscal year. Due to the number of new homes and rising property values, the town would see a real dollar increase if they left the tax rate at 16¢.
To help residents and reduce their annual budget surplus, Town Commissioners voted to set the tax rate at 14¢ per hundred dollars of assessed real property value. This 2¢ reduction in taxes will result in an estimated $75,245 reduction in revenue from property taxes.
Despite the reduction in property taxes, the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget adopted by the Town Commissioners last night shows a revenue increase of $915,355. This includes a transfer of $1,659,795 from surplus funds to the general fund.
Town Commissioners also voted to add $50 per year to every water customer’s bill until costs for the new water treatment plant become more clear. Burgess Weddle hopes the new water treatment plant will be operational by August 1, 2020.