Jefferson property tax levy rates to decrease for 2018-19

An increase in property values is allowing the Jefferson city council to decrease both the general fund levy and the debt service levy for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2018.

The proposed budget calls for a levy of 12.68 (dollars per $1,000 of taxable valuation) for the general fund, compared to 12.83 for the current year. The debt service levy will be 2.15 (dollars per $1,000 of taxable valuation), decreased from 2.32 for the current year.

The levy has decreased 45 cents over the past five years, according to city clerk Diane Kennedy.

The total tax asking for fiscal year 2018-19 is $2,041,168, an increase of about $32,000. The total task asking for debt service has increased about $6,000. Again, because valuations are up, the levy rate can be decreased and still raise more revenue.

The total valuation in the city is $22,007,000. After applying the state-mandated rollbacks, the taxable valuation is $7,017,000.

Each one cent of the levy equates to $1,366 in revenue for the city.

The city budget includes a 2.5 percent wage increase for union employees. The city is now in the first year of a five-year contract that calls for a 2.5 percent increase each year. The contract will expire June 30, 2022.

Revenues in the proposed budget exceed expenditures by $42,602.

There are no startling changes in revenue or expenses planned. Kennedy estimated $141,000 coming to the city from Wild Rose Casino. That’s based on year-to-date payments. The amount estimated for the current year budget was a bit more.

She also planned for $40,000 from Grow Greene County, reduced from $50,000 this year. The city is earmarking $20,000 of that for a new comprehensive plan. The other $20,000 will be used to offset the expense of hiring a new police office in the current year.

In the budgeting process, portions of the salaries and benefits of the city administrator, city clerk and deputy city clerk have been assigned to the water, wastewater, sanitation and streets departments. The changes resulted in $81,000 less expense showing in the administration budget with a similar added expense in those enterprise funds.

The council discussed the purchase of a high-pressure, low-flow fire truck as part of the budget workshop Feb. 27. The city is working with Bob Josten of Dorsey & Whitney to determine the best way to finance purchase of the truck, whether it be borrowing money or paying “up front” from the general fund. The cost of the truck is $130,000. The council intends to make a decision about purchasing the truck at its March 13 meeting.
The budget includes 3 percent increases in water, wastewater, sanitation and recycling rates.

The proposed budget shows a fund balance as of June 30, 2019, of $9,268,267. Annual expenses are $7,297,016. Kennedy has explained that the fund balance includes 56 earmarked funds. Much of the fund balance is not available for general fund expenses.

The city council will hold a public hearing on the FY 2018-19 budget Tuesday, March 13, at 5:30 pm at the municipal building. Click here for the notice of public hearing.

Print or share article:Print this page
Email this to someone
Tweet about this on Twitter
Share on Facebook