The initial budget presentation from the City Staff recommends a 2.74 mil levy increase for 2014. Not a bad starting point. Valuation is up almost 12 million, with 10 million being from new construction. So growth in the city will result in close to $538,000 in increased revenue from property taxes. It is unfortunate that even with a ½ million in revenue growth a 2.74 mil levy increase is requested. That is of course on top of projected increased in water, sewer and storm water rates. The city has dedicated revenue streams for many of the budget items, so those are not the challenge. The focus is not on those items that are funded through dedicated revenue streams like the City University Fund. Priority one is the mil levy; second is constraint of the growth of the enterprise fund and last is best use of the dedicated revenue streams. Last year we had a list of items that could be eliminated or reduced to bring the mil levy down to zero growth, we will need to create that list again. Of particular interest during this year’s budget will be the allocation of the infrastructure funds from the recently passed ½ cent eco devo tax. Before the passing of the tax the projections on mil levy increase were in the 4 to 5 mil range. So we are at a great starting point for this year.