Share this article

print logo

Tax rate hike draws no complaint

A proposed property tax increase of 2.2 percent apparently is sitting well with city residents.

Only one person protested during a City Council hearing Monday night on a 2009-10 budget of $24.4 million that envisions a tax rate of about $10 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Resident Daniel Del Plato said, "Pay raises don't make sense and are not justified at this time." He also criticized a water-sewer rate increase when "people are struggling."

The spending plan, the result of two months of City Council debates and discussion, is a $900,000 increase from the 2008-09 budget.

The proposed tax boost would cost the average homeowner $20 to $25 more per year.

A 4 percent rise in rates for water and sewer service would add about $15 per year to the average homeowner bill.

Under the plan, the Department of Public Works gets the largest increase, 18 percent, to $4.8 million. There is no significant change in spending for the Police and Fire departments -- about $3.3 million each -- the next two highest expenditures.

The budget relies on no borrowing for the first time in years, when revenue-anticipation notes were needed to offset short-term operating expenses.

The contingency fund would rise 50 percent, to $300,000.

Other costs not included in the current operating budget include $185,000 for sidewalk repairs and $10,000 for election costs to cover the three at-large Council posts that will be decided by voters in November.

There is also a 2.85 percent boost in payroll, with more than $200,000 going to three top administrators. Workers' Compensation costs will jump by nearly $300,000.

The Council is scheduled to vote on the budget March 23, a week before the start of the city's fiscal year.

There are no comments - be the first to comment