The council opted to publish the proposed tax rate using the current rate of $1.18 per $100 of valuation. Because of an increase in property values, the current rate should bring in approximately $66,000 in additional revenue for the city.
The effective tax rate is $1.146. City Manager Mike Smith said he created the draft budget based on the effective rate and cut about $300,000 from it, but is still about $8,000 over budget using the effective rate.
“I'd like to lower it,” said Gary Oliver, council member. “But I don't see that we can with all we have ahead of us trying to fix some streets.”
Councilman Joe Mitchell asked Smith what the rate would be to balance the budget and make up the lacking $8,000. But Smith said he had not figured that.
“I agree with Gary,” Mitchell said. “We do have a lot ahead of us that's been let go for a long time, a long row to hoe.”
Some cuts Smith highlighted in his budget presentation include $4,000 from the fire department for uniforms, $2,000 in park maintenance for chemicals, $5,000 from a $20,000 festival supplies budget, and $85,000 for baseball field lights.
Smith reported that College and Depot street improvements are complete. The streets department is now working on filling pot holes.
“We’re going to try to get over to North Fifth and North Sixth before school starts and get as much done as possible,” he said.
To read the complete article, see the Aug. 26 Gazette-News.