Board Approves Budget for Fiscal Year 2021-22

Friday, July 2, 2021

The Hillsborough Board of Commissioners approved a budget totaling about $25.5 million in operating expenses for Fiscal Year 2021-22 during a virtual work session Monday night.

“This year’s budget prioritizes taking care of what we've got by funding needed equipment, facilities improvements, and investing in our most valuable asset ― our personnel,” Hillsborough Mayor Jenn Weaver said. “We are also investing in Hillsborough’s future by committing funds to implement the Comprehensive Sustainability Plan, which will include climate action planning for the town. Our budgets should reflect our values, and although there is always more work to do, this budget is an apt expression of Hillsborough’s values and priorities.”

A public hearing was held June 14. The budget became effective July 1, with the beginning of the town’s new fiscal year. It includes:

  • $13.3 million in expenses in the General Fund.
  • $11.5 million in expenses in the Water and Sewer Fund.
  • $696,500 in expenses in the Stormwater Utility Fund.

The latter two funds are enterprise funds. No profits are made, and the revenue from these funds is used for no other purpose than paying the costs of those individual operations.

Rates and fees

The budget:

  • Reduces the property tax rate from 62 to 58.7 cents per $100 of assessed value, adding 2 cents to the revenue-neutral rate of 56.7 cents.
  • Reduces the monthly minimum usage that water and sewer customers are charged by 125 gallons.
  • Increases water and sewer rates by 4.5 and 2% respectively.
  • Removes the higher security deposit for new water and sewer customers considered high risk for nonpayment.
  • Makes no change to the stormwater fee.

With the recent countywide property assessment, a revenue-neutral property tax rate would be 56.7 cents ― the rate at which the town would have generated about the same revenue as it did prior to the revaluation. The 2 cents above the revenue-neutral rate will provide about $300,000 to fund implementation of the Comprehensive Sustainability Plan, which will include climate action.

With the change to 2,375 gallons for the minimum use for water and sewer service, lower-volume utility customers will see a savings in water and sewer fees despite the rate increases.

The Water and Sewer Advisory Committee will continue evaluating the town’s rate structures and exploring other options. The work began in Fiscal Year 2019-20 and was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional study areas to be added are further reductions to the minimum usage and the best rate structure to address usage and differential charges for in-town and out-of-town customers.

More information

Videos about budget highlights and water and sewer rates for Fiscal Year 2022 are available on the Budget page and on the town’s YouTube channel.

For more information, see the related documents below. Additionally, visit the Budget page and FAQ: Water and Sewer Rates, which includes information on the minimum use charge, the different rates for in-town and out-of-town customers, and statewide comparisons of rates.

Related documents

Document Budget ordinance  

Document Fees, Rates and Charges Schedule  

Document Budget at a Glance  

Document Water and Sewer Rate Increases