News Releases

Board Approves Budget for Fiscal Year 2019-20

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The Hillsborough Board of Commissioners approved a budget totaling $22 million in operating expenses for Fiscal Year 2019-20 during its regular meeting Monday night.

“I believe our budget represents good stewardship of our limited resources,” said Mayor Tom Stevens. “We have a thoughtful process of creating the budget, in a sensible multi-year format, with care to allocate funds in support of town staff to do their work well and do it right. In the long run, that delivers the best value for the citizens we serve.”

A public hearing was held May 28. The budget will become effective July 1, when the town’s new fiscal year starts. The budget includes:

  • $10.6 million in expenses in the General Fund.
  • $10.8 million in expenses in the Water and Sewer Fund.
  • $653,000 in expenses in the Stormwater Utility Fund.

Rates and fees

The approved budget includes:

  • Making no change in the tax rate. Fiscal Year 2020 will be the seventh consecutive year without a tax rate increase.
  • Increasing the water and sewer rates 5% each.

See the attached fact sheet for information on the specific rates for in-town and out-of-town customers during the upcoming fiscal year and for the primary reasons for the increases.


The approved budget is $600,000 less than last year’s budget. It helps the town maintain services and infrastructure and invest in quality employees without raising taxes. Highlights include:

  • Repaving 5% of town streets, which is part of the town’s plan to repave streets on a 20-year cycle. Estimated cost: $360,500 of which $175,000 comes from gas tax revenues allocated to the town from the State Street-Aid Program, also referred to as the Powell Bill.
  • Increasing payment to Orange Rural Fire Department for fire protection services to help cover the department’s increase in operational costs. Estimated cost: About $43,000.
  • Increasing hours for two positions: Increasing the public information officer position from 28 to 40 hours; and increasing the part-time fire inspector position from 8 to 16 hours and providing a used vehicle for the inspection work. Estimated cost: $13,000 and $18,000, respectively.
  • Reallocating an unfilled community policing position to an assistant police chief position that would address staffing, training and operational needs. Estimated cost: About $45,000.
  • Adopting a $15 minimum wage, merit raises, market rate adjustments and performance evaluation system improvements. Estimated cost: $315,000 for the $15 minimum wage implementation; and $35,000 from the General Fund and $10,000 from the Water/Sewer Fund for market rate mid-year adjustments as needed.

More information

The budget also includes Hillsborough’s balanced scorecard, a system of measures that the town uses to implement its objectives. The system is used as part of the annual budget process to implement and communicate the Board of Commissioners’ mission, vision, strategic priorities and core values. In addition, the budget includes departmental scorecards and departmental maps of top priorities and step-by-step ways to achieve goals.

A video with highlights of the FY20 budget as well as videos about the town’s water and sewer rates will be available soon on the town’s YouTube channel.

For more information, see a video on the budget process and the related documents below.

Related documents

Document Fact sheet: Understanding How Hillsborough Funds Operations  

Document Fact sheet: Water and Sewer Rate Increases  

Document FY20 Budget Ordinance