Statesville City Manager Ron Smith presented a $101,196,750 proposed budget for fiscal year 2020-2021 on Monday night that maintains the current property tax rate but calls for an increase in water and sewer rates.

There are no raises for city employees in the spending plan, although Smith said money has been set aside that could be used for pay raises if the economy improves. Employees will also likely pay more for health insurance in the coming year due to increased premiums.

In his budget message to council, the city manager said described the plan as a zero-growth budget designed to weather the economic downturn caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“The goal of the budget team was to attempt to balance the budget with no tax increase, as this would only exacerbate the impact on an already aching local economy,” Smith explained in the budget message. “Our intent was not to pass the impact of the City’s losses along to our residents, business owners or employees.”

The proposal maintains the property tax rate at $0.5478 cents per $100 valuation.

While electricity rates would remain flat, the plan calls for a 3 percent increase in city water rates and a 3.5 percent hike in the sewer rate.

Based on the city’s $3.62 billion tax base, that tax rate would generate about $17.6 million for the city’s coffers.

Based on current forecasts, the budget projects the city’s local option sales tax revenues will dip by 15 percent to $5.99 million.

Budget Highlights

♦ The plan calls on utilizing $1 million from the city’s fund balance.

♦ There are three new positions in the budget — two telecommunicators for the police department and a GIS analyst.

♦ The plan includes $3.93 million in capital expenses, including money for nine new police vehicles, three new sanitation vehicles and a street sweeper.