Most Rockville homeowners will pay the same in city property taxes this year as they did last year.
According to city budget officer Anna Lee Berman, the tax rate will remain constant this year because of a new state law limiting the number of homes that were reassessed. under the law, only 25 percent of the city's property owners received new assessments; the remaining 75 percent will be reassessed during the next three years.
This will be the first in four years that Rockville residents will not receive a reduction in their city property taxes.
The tax package was part of a $17,311,726 operating budget for fiscal 1981 approved earlier this week by the Rockville City Council.
Beginning July 1, Rockville homeowners will pay a property tax rate of 95 cents per $100 assessed value, the same rate they paid last year.
The new budget calls for a 4.5-cent decrease in the taxes businesses pay per $100 of the market value of their inventory.
The approved budget raises the monthly refuse collection fee by 25 cents to $8.87 per month, and specifies that if voluntary participation in the separate newspaper collection program does not increase sufficiently to cover costs, the council could hike the rate at the city's mid-year budget review in January.
The council also maintained the current sewer rate but added an 8-cent increase to the water rate. The new rate is 86 cents per 1,000 gallons.
City Mayor William E. Hanna Jr., said he was pleased with next year's budget since the city was "able to maintain the tax rate in view of inflationary pressure. We are most pleased not to have to put still a heavier burden on our taxpayers."
The approved budget emphasizes city maintenance programs. A total of $309,000 was approved for the repaving of streets. Also included in $87,715 for the renovation of parks.
The council also approved a Capital Improvements Program (CIP) for projects totaling $12,668,550. Funds for the project come from city, county, state and federal appropriations.
Major emphasis on the CIP budget will be on transportation projects to be built in conjunction with Metro and the opening of the new county office building complex in downtown Rockville slated for completion in September 1981.
Added to the operating budget was authorization to construct a $3 million addition to the Rockville City Hall. Construction costs will be funded through the sale of city bonds.
The addition was tabled last year when bids for the project came in at more than $1 million. The addition was the subject of a heated debate between council members at Monday night's meeting. Two council members, Phyllis Fordham and John Tyner, lobbied heavily to kill the project.
Fordham argued the city's plan to house all employes in one building in an effort to streamline government services would produce the opposite effect.
"The only reason we're effective is that our city hall is smaller than any other city hall," Fordham said, adding that creating a "one-stop shopping" effect would make it as difficult for citizens to get through our system as it is to get through the county's.
Some city employes work in various city-owned and rented spaces throughout Rockville.After the budget passed 4 to 1 -- which included approval of the city hall addition -- Fordham supported a motion by council member Tyner to have the building's architect, Ward N. Hall, prepare new sketches for the building's facade.