City Budget Work Sessions
Posted: 24 June 2013 01:28 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Tomorrow is another budget work session.  During the past few years the increase in mil levy has been blamed on RCPD, the Bond and Interest Fund and the long list of outside agencies.  This year the RCPD budget or mil levy is less than 2013, the bond and interest fund outlay is also less (due to the ½ cent sales tax – property tax relief).  What is strange is that even with the two big problems under control, the work sessions continue to increase the mil levy.  We started with a staff request for a 2.7 mil increase.  The meeting tomorrow starts with a 2.914 increase.  It seems like we are heading in the wrong direction.  Even with a flat mil levy City spending will increase due to growth, new buildings and higher assessments on some property.  The promise has been for many years that eventually we should get to a point where the growth of the city takes care of the added cost.  The story line now seems to be that growth cost money, so pony up. 
Mill Levy Rate - The 2014 tax levy rate proposed by City Administration to meet the operational requirements of the City and to fund the budget requests of outside agencies now stands at 46.337 mills (including a 2% delinquency for RCPD) or an increase of 2.914 mills over the 2013 mill levy rate and an increase of 0.172 since the 2nd work session

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Posted: 06 July 2013 03:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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The Fourth City Work Session on the Budget is set for Tuesday.  The starting point is now a 43.699 mil levy or a .260 mil increase over last year.  That is progress, but assessments have increased.  The increase in assessments translates into about a 1 mil savings for the city budget.  But what it means for property owners is that even if the mil levy is flat, your taxes will still go up. It is actually possible this year to have a decrease of about .30 in the mil levy.  This can be accomplished by adjusting a few accounts, especially the CVB and the Eco Devo infrastructure funds.  The Outside Agency fund requests were extremely inflated this year.  The Special Alcohol Board did excellent work, staying within budget and only increased allocations by about one-half of a percent.  That was not the case with SSAB.  They recommended a 7% overall increase, with some agencies like Manhattan Legal Services being given a 26% increase.  ATA also requested a 5% increase (the contract is for the on demand service only).  Compare those increases to the 1.7% or lower COLA for City Employees, Fire and Police.  MAC and Wolfe House requested the same amount as previous years. 
We need to find $125,000 in savings to reach a zero growth mil levy for this year.  This can easily be accomplished by limiting growth of outside agencies to 1.7% and using CVB and Infrastructure funds to cover some CIP projects.  The addition of a Training Officer for the MFD is projected to cost between 60 and 80 K.  It is possible to reduce the budget by about 280,000 dollars.  This would achieve a negative growth in mil levy of about .3   The assessments will still result in higher taxes for some.  The overall City Budget will still increase. 

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