A proposed budget from the City of Carthage would keep the tax rate the same while adding monies for street repairs and city employee salary increases.

The proposed tax rate is .5894 per $100 valuation, the same as last year. City Manager Steve Williams said increased property values mean the city will see about $120,000 more in revenue despite keeping the tax rate at its current level.

The Carthage City Commission will vote on its tax rate and budget at Monday’s meeting, which starts at 5 p.m. at Carthage City Hall, 812 W. Panola St.

Next year’s general fund budget includes a three percent across the board salary increase for city employees. That fund total is about $7.8 million, up $419,000 from last year.

The biggest change to the general fund budget is an additional $500,000 for street repairs, Williams said. $400,000 of that is being taken out of fund balance, a decision Williams said was based on the city seeing a good year for sales tax revenue.

“That’s what we want to focus on next year: repairing the streets,” Williams said. “We put a little bit more in there last year than we had in the prior year, and we’re doing some projects with that money. This next year, since we had a good year from sales tax perspective and we know our streets need some work, we’re going to put half a million in there for street repair next year and see how far we can make that go.”

The proposed general fund budget also includes money for a new fire truck — the same fire truck commissioners OK’d last year and that is included in the current budget.

“Part of what we have in next year’s budget is that same fire truck because it didn’t get finished before the end of the year,” Williams said. “There were some delays on it.”

Williams said the proposed water and sewer fund budget is about $5 million total, up $68,000 from last year.

The only notable item in that proposed water and sewer budget is $90,000 for a new generator at Lake Murvaul to help the city continue to pump water into its system when the power goes out.

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Carthage native Meredith Shamburger has worked for the Panola Watchman since 2018. Before that, she worked at sister papers in Longview and Marshall; the Dallas Morning News; and The Daily Voice, a hyperlocal news company in Westchester County, New York.