Share this article

print logo

Spending plan has 23% tax increase

Property owners face a 23 percent tax hike under a 2007-08 budget unveiled Tuesday as the city scrambles to reverse a $1 million annual operating deficit.

The spending plan, prepared by new City Manager Jason R. Molino under a City Charter-mandated Jan. 15 date, is outlined in a 60-page document detailing department allocations as well as costs for services.

No total is listed, but it should be close to last year's budget of $22.5 million. That budget raised property taxes 5 percent to $7.78 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

The proposed new rate is $9.54, meaning a house assessed at $85,000 would see an annual increase of $152.15.

Molino asked department heads to reduce expenses from 10 to 20 percent, so the budget is heavy on cutbacks.

The position of community development director would be eliminated, as would school crossing guards. Fire Station No. 2, which serves the south side of the community, would be closed. Seven full-time and 17 part-time positions would be eliminated. Youth Bureau programs would be curtailed.

The budget calls for a slight increase in sales tax revenue to just over $5 million and an additional $308,116 in state aid designed to minimize property tax growth.

The proposed budget now goes to the City Council. It is to be voted on in March just ahead of the city's new fiscal year starting April 1.

There are no comments - be the first to comment