Officials propose $134M budget

By Bryan Richardson

City officials have made adjustments to the 2015 budget from the numbers presented at the May 27 work session.

The proposed 2015 budget, presented at Tuesday’s city commission meeting, is now $134.5 million with a mill levy of 45.077 mills, a decrease of $544,605 and 1.001 mills from preliminary numbers.

A mill is $1 in tax for every $1,000 in assessed, taxable property value.

Compared with the 2014 budget, the current proposal represents an increase of $3.7 million and 1.653 mills.

Taking into consideration that the valuation of the average home has increased 2.3 percent, a homeowner paying $499.38 for a $100,000 house in 2014 would pay $530.30 for a $102,300 home in 2015. That’s a 6.2-percent increase.

A segment of the session was used to show the city’s impact on a property tax bill, which officials considered small. Finance Director Bernie Hayen used an example of his 2014 tax bill to show that the city represents 8.2 percent of the total bill.

He said the city plans to use an example bill to show how the city’s outside agencies such as the Riley County Police Department, state, USD 383, and Riley and Pottawatomie counties play a role.

“In terms of a tax bill, it’s very little what you have responsibility for and what you’re trying to influence,” he said.

Commissioner Usha Reddi said the perception of the public is that only the city is raising taxes.

“I rarely hear, ‘The school district has so much of my money,’ or ‘County has so much of my money,” she said. “It’s just, ‘The city is taking all of my money.’”

The next budget work session is scheduled for June 24. The city’s outside agencies will give their annual funding request presentation during the session.

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