City Council sets early budget levy target

Published 6:14 pm Tuesday, August 16, 2022

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Members urge for a reduction of 7.05% increase

Director of Administrative Services Tom Dankert revealed Monday night that the council will be considering a tax levy increase of 7.05% this year during the City Council meeting.

The increase will raise the levy amount to $8.5 million — a $507,000 increase, however, there was a broad consensus among board members to try to reduce that number, led by 1st Ward Councilmember Geoff Baker who pointed out it’s really not a 7.05% increase when considering the price hikes of sewer fees the council recently passed to help pay for the $105 million Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Earlier this month the council agreed to a 15% sewer fee increase next year, followed by a 10% increase the year after with another 7% increase in both 2025 and 2026.

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“I don’t think it’s fair to say we’re only assessing 7%,” Baker said. “I think we need a $250,000 decrease in the levy. I think the target number has to be half of that ($507,000).”

The budget will be discussed again at a work session after the City Council meeting on Sept. 6, and approval for the levy would be slated to come at the Sept. 19 meeting, after which it cannot by increased unless a special meeting is held by Sept. 30.