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Haywood County taxes steady, but fees rise

haywoodAlthough the Haywood County Board of Commissioners passed a 2016-17 budget June 20 that was 3.1 percent higher than 2015-16, the board was able to do so without budging from its previous 56.61 cents per $100 assessed value property tax levy.

“There is no tax increase?” asked Haywood County commission Chairman Mark Swanger during the meeting.

“There is no tax increase,” answered County Manager Ira Dove. 

Swanger’s question may have been rhetorical and simply for illustrative purposes, but it also may have been directed at detractors of the proposed Haywood County Animal Shelter who addressed the board earlier and bemoaned the cost. 

Regardless of the reason, Haywood County’s $95.8 million budget — just over $3 million higher than last year — increases spending in a few key areas, and will also realize higher revenue as well, especially in fees. 

Local option sales tax revenue is projected to be 6.3 percent higher this year, due in part to Western North Carolina’s plodding emergence from the Great Recession. 

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Assessed property values — the source of Ad Valorem taxes — climbed seven tenths of a percent, from $7.37 billion to $7.42 billion, a difference of just over $53 million. 

Even though that’s not nearly enough to make up the $3 million growth set for the coming year, a number of fee increases in the county’s Solid Waste Management Fund will help the county maintain balance. 

No increases were set for household fees ($164 per household), or for hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, inns, campers, hospitals, retreat or rehabilitation centers and nursing homes ($27 per unit), but almost all fees for the White Oak Landfill will rise. 

Commercial usage, as well as fees for asphalt blocks, dead animals, bricks, concrete, painted or treated wood, sheetrock, and shingles, will all go from $22.15 per ton to $22.40. Industrial waste, wood, brush, leaves, and pallets all rise from $53 per ton to $55. 

Residents in one of the county’s fire districts will also see an increase in what they pay for fire protection. The North Canton Fire District will pay an extra penny per $100 in assessed property value, bringing that rate to seven cents. New this year is the Ivy Hill district, which will pay 6 cents. 

The remaining districts — Clyde, Crabtree-Ironduff, Cruso, Center Pigeon, Eagles Nest, East Canton, Fines Creek, Howell Mill, Jonathan Creek, Junaluska, Lake Logan-Cecil, Maggie Valley, Saunook, West Canton, and the Waynesville district will all pay what they paid last year, ranging from 6 cents to 10 cents.

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