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Maggie Valley maintains tax rate despite revenue drop

Maggie Valley is projecting a more than 16 percent decline in revenue for the 2020-21 fiscal year due to the shutdown caused by the COVID 19 crisis.

Property tax is the largest source of revenue for the Town of Maggie Valley and the budget proposal keeps the same tax rate of 43 cents per $100. That’s the lowest in Haywood County.

The projected collection rate is 94 percent, down 2.97 percent from last year, also due to Covid-19, for an estimated revenue of $1,596,528. 

Sales tax is the second largest source of revenue for the town. Haywood County distributes sales tax proportional to population distribution. According to estimates provided by the town, Maggie Valley should receive $357,265, a decrease of 18.7 percent from last fiscal year. Once again, that’s due to significantly less money being spent in Haywood County during the Covid-19 crisis. 

The debt service payment for fiscal year 2020-2021 is $0, because the Town Board has eliminated the general fund debt. 

“This is an achievement the board and staff should take great pride in because it is a reflection on how serious they view their role as financial stewards of the town’s monetary resources,” said Town Manager Nathan Clark. 

The proposed budget sets aside $65,000 to promote economic development. Because the board has come up with several economic development ideas in the past year, Clark said he set aside this fund to serve as a “catalyst for these undetermined projects.” 

The budget proposes no new projects for the Festival Grounds or the Parks and Recreation Department. The police department will not purchase a new police vehicle for the first time since 2013. However the department will purchase a new K-9 police dog. Former Maggie Valley police dog, Moses, retired in April due to health concerns. The new dog will cost $12,800, which includes purchase, training and living expenses. 

There are several projects proposed for the Public Works Department in the coming year. Among them:

• A new Ford F-550 dump truck at a cost of $52,000.

• $37,963 for the Valley Creek Run resurfacing project.

• $10,500 is set aside for the purchase of a new zero turn Ferris mower.

• $15,000 will be allocated for the town’s participation in the countywide Wayfinding Program sponsored by Haywood County Tourism Development Authority. 

The town’s estimated share for the Soco Road Improvement project is $395,000. Grant funding requires the Department of Transportation to pay 80 percent of the project cost and the town to pay 20 percent. Last year, $120,000 was placed in the Capital Project reserve fund. This fiscal year, 2020-2021, another $120,000 is allotted, to make up 70 percent of the town’s share. 

A public hearing regarding the proposed budget will be held at 6:30 p.m. on June 9. Location has yet to be determined. 

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