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by Jordan Green

Items from across the Triad and beyond

8 percent tax increase proposed for Winston-Salem

City Manager Lee Garritty is proposing an 8 percent increase in property taxes in Winston- Salem. As a result taxes would increase from 47.5 cents to 51.7 cents per $100 of assessed value. In comparison, Greensboro property owners pay 41.5 cents per $100 of assessed value. The city of Winston-Salem raised property taxes by ¾ of cent two years ago.

A press release states that rising fuel prices and health costs coupled with stagnant income as a result of the recession are forcing the city to raise taxes. The city also anticipates a decline in tax revenue when the Forsyth County Tax Department adjusts property values in the 2013-2014 fiscal year. Meanwhile, federal grants that paid for police salaries for two years are scheduled to expire in 2013- 2014. A breakdown of the tax increase indicates that 1.7 cents would cover the shortfall, 1 cent would replace loss of revenue from inventory taxes previously reimbursed by the state and 1.5 cents would be set aside for a mass transit fund.

The $398.2 million budget includes $3 million for sidewalk and street resurfacing projects.

The budget also includes a 30-cent increase in bus fares coupled with a pilot program to provide Sunday bus service on Winston-Salem Transit Authority as part of a pilot program to measure ridership.

Copies of the proposed budget are available for review at public libraries, at city hall and online at cityofws.org. The city council’s finance committee will hold budget workshops on Thursday at 4 p.m. and June 5 at 4 p.m. at City Hall in Room 239. A public hearing is scheduled for June 5 at 7 p.m. at City Hall in Room 230.

State lawmaker charged with death by vehicle

NC Rep. Larry Womble has been charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle stemming from an auto accident on Dec. 2, 2011 that took the life of David Allen Carmichael, the Winston- Salem Police Department announced. The NC Attorney General’s office authorized the charge following an investigation by the police department A press release from the department states that Womble presented himself with his attorney, David Freedman, for warrant service at the Forsyth County Detention Center on May 24 at 2:30 p.m. The Winston-Salem lawmaker’s first court appearance is scheduled for June 6.

Womble, who was first elected to the NC House in 1994, had planned to run for the NC Senate District 32 seat being vacated by Linda Garrou, but announced earlier this year that he needed to focus on recovering from the accident instead. Earline Parmon, a fellow Democrat who serves in the NC House with Womble, announced that she would run for the seat with Womble’s support.

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