Jonesville to continue $30 vehicle tax

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JONESVILLE — Property tax rates are proposed to remain unchanged in Jonesville for the coming 2021-22 fiscal year, at 50 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. Water tax rates would also hold steady, according to a spending plan under consideration by the town council.

Jonesville town leaders are also proposing to continue a $30 vehicle tax to be collected during a vehicle’s annual registration. The vehicle tax is allowed by state statute as long as revenues are used for specific costs such as street maintenance.

“The reasoning is it was a better option than raising property taxes. This is fairer because vehicle owners will help to maintain the streets,” said Jonesville Town Manager Michael Pardue. “Many vehicle owners in Jonesville do not own property and therefore do not contribute to local property taxes.”

The maximum tax the statute allows is $30 per vehicle. Neighboring Yadkinville has included a $5 per vehicle tax in their proposed 2021-22 budget.

In Jonesville, the $30 vehicle tax is estimated to generate $55,000 in revenue, which would be used in addition to the estimated $805,000 collected from property taxes for the 2021-22 fiscal year. The combined value of the tax base of Jonesville properties is $167.2 million for the coming fiscal year, up from $165.6 million last year. Jonesville’s fiscal year runs July 1 through June 30.

Jonesville’s property tax rate of 50 cents per $100 of assessed value is the same as the property tax rate in East Bend; in Yadkinville, the rate is 42 cents per $100.

Overall, the town plans to spend $2.1 million from its general fund budget in the coming year, up $121,650 over last year. Spending increases are primarily attributed to a 2% pay increase for all town employees and the lease of new fleet vehicles, increased costs for independent audit services, employee health insurance increases and increased costs for code enforcement, Pardue said.

The annual salaries for the mayor and town council members will remain unchanged, at $1,900 and $1,600 respectively.

Beyond funding generated by taxes, Jonesville will spend federal grant money to install free public wifi hotspots at the senior center, Head Start and the library.

“Tablets and laptops will be purchased with grant funds and in turn will be made available for use by the respective agencies,” said Pardue, who expects work on the project to start as soon as this winter and project completion by November of 2023.

The town is also projecting an increase in sales tax revenue for the coming fiscal year of $450,000, up from $385,000 budgeted last year. Many municipalities budgeted down their sales tax projections last year due to the impact of the pandemic.

“As vaccines become available and as the virus is contained, restrictions will be lifted, and we hope to return to normal activities,” Pardue said. “Sales tax collection for online orders is making an impact on our local option sales tax projections, (but) newly opened businesses in Jonesville are expected to contribute to overall revenues.”

The town council will consider the budget proposal at their meeting Monday, June 7.

“I am confident by working together with our community, town council, and committed staff, we will capitalize on opportunities to position Jonesville for success in the years ahead,” Pardue said. “The proposed budget accounts for all services necessary to provide the maximum benefit for our citizens within the constraints of our projected revenues and expenditures.”

Lisa Michals may be reached at 336-448-4968 or follow her on Twitter @lisamichals3.

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