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Pembroke approves rate hike
Additional income to fund one-time projects
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Residents of Pembroke will see a hike in taxes this year after a unanimous decision from the City Council on Thursday.
At a called meeting held in City Hall, the council voted 4-0 to increase the fiscal year 2013 millage rate from 8.359 mills to 10 mills. Council member Ernest Hamilton was absent.
The decision came with no input from the public, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. The council held three public hearings in the last two weeks but had zero turnout at each event. This is the first time the city has increased the millage rate since 2008.
According to City Clerk Betty Hill, the millage rate is expected to generate about $68,500 for various projects in the city. The increase will be applied to all non-exempt real estate property, including mobile homes and vehicles, she said.
Mayor Mary Warnell said the funds the millage rate is expected to raise likely won’t go far.
“If you add up everything on our wish list of what we need to do, it’s more than $68,000,” Warnell said.
“(Residents) also need to understand that with our 10 (mills) it doesn’t give us as much with … as a lot of (other city’s get) with 5 mills,” council member Diane Moore added.
Most of the items the city hopes to fund with the increase are one-time projects, Warnell said, noting she is hopeful the millage rate won’t stay at 10 mills for more than a year.
Those one-time projects include the installation of a handicapped lift at the city pool, updating city job descriptions, replacing a heating and air unit at City Hall, installing 10 new streetlights and working with the Coastal Regional Commission to update the city zoning maps, which were last updated in 1997.

Read more in the Sept. 1 edition of the News.

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