Chatham County

Paying a Pittsboro bill with a credit card? See how much extra it will cost.

The Historic Courthouse in Pittsboro is the centerpiece of downtown.
The Historic Courthouse in Pittsboro is the centerpiece of downtown.

The property tax rate and fees for water and sewer in Pittsboro will stay the same for another year, but people who pay their bills with a credit card will see an increase.

The Board of Commissioners adopted the 2018-19 town budget Monday.

It includes a new $2 fee per transaction for people who pay with credit cards.

Commissioner Jay Farrell questioned how this amount was determined.

Town staff explained that people understood a flat fee better than merely passing along a percentage upcharge to cover the cost of processing credit card payments This fee covers the cost the town pays credit card companies to process the payment.

The budget also reworks fees developers pay to have their plans submitted and reviewed.

Town Manager Bryan Gruesbeck's recommended spending plan of $4.9 million, a 7.3 percent increase over the current budget, was adopted unanimously.

The budget growth was driven by collecting more in ABC taxes, planning fees and property taxes, Gruesbeck said.

"I think this is an excellent, outstanding budget," Commissioner John Bonitz said.

The property tax rate will remain at 43.3 cents per $100 of assessed value. That means the town tax bill for a $200,000 home in town will be about $866. About half of the town's budget is covered by property taxes. The town expects to collect about $2.3 million next year in property taxes.

Developers will pay more for commercial-use site plans submitted for review. The fee goes to $600 under the new plan, up $160 from the current $440 for projects of one acre or less. Larger projects will cost $600 plus $25 per acre..

The town also is changing its "Development Review" fee and renaming it "Engineering Plan Review." This now costs $50 per sheet with no minimum. The proposal establishes a $600 minimum while also keeping the $50 per sheet fee for larger submittals.

Major Subdivision review fees are currently collected on a sliding scale with five steps starting at $1,800 for six to 10 lots and going up to $100 per lot for subdivisions with more than 40 lots. The new fee is $700 plus $100 per lot regardless of the number of lots in the subdivision.

The town also will begin collecting a new fee when amendments are made to commercial and subdivision site plans. The town does not charge a fee now but will begin collecting at the rate of half of the original fee for each amendment that is submitted.

The proposed budget calls for a 2.5 percent salary increase for town employees.