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Growth in City will bring mill levy down

Monday night’s council meeting included the first reading of the 2017 budget. On the expense side, Finance Officer Jerry Jones explained that the budget was pretty much what they discussed at prior meetings.

There was an increase in the fire department budget due to an increase for repairs, supplies and needed equipment.

The budget for the building at the park was also increased to $40,000 so that it can replace the old block building at the park, which will be taken down. Some of the increased cost will come from the Park and Recreation Board.

The biggest news was on the revenue side.

“I’m ready to go on record,” said Jones. “ [Regarding] property taxes, it’s a very unique situation this year—a gift that’s been given to us.”

Jones went on to explain that due to some miscommunication, the City is short $30,000 on their tax request for last year. The City requested $835,000, but there is only $805,454 available. The Bank CPI (Consumer Price Index) was left out. That $30,000 cannot be recouped. That’s the number Jones has to work with for this year.

“But here comes the gift,” Jones continued. “We had 12.28% in growth—that’s unheard of. Thank Wilson Trailer. It took a while to get there, but here’s where patience paid off. Just based off of that, that will be an additional $98,910 on growth alone.”

Jones recommended taking 2.5% of the Bank CPI next year which would increase property tax revenue. The City could take up to a 5% increase if they wanted, as allowed by law, but they don’t have to. However, if they don’t take any increase, they would lose it.

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