Last week, City Council got their first look at the 2017 budget proposal. Each year, the City staff and I spend all summer putting together revenue forecasts and proposals for investment in City priorities.
This year, we had lots of help…thankfully, the community just finished putting together the Comprehensive Plan, which lays out our investment strategy for the next 15 to 20 years. Staff worked hard to closely align our spending proposal with the principles and priorities of the plan.
- On the revenue side, staff is proposing a level tax rate. With last year’s revaluation, we say about $300,000 in new property tax revenue potential. We are seeking stable performance in sales tax revenue, and slight growth in Occupancy Taxes, thanks to the recent addition of the Fairfield Inn on Hamilton Street. Staff is also proposing slight increases in both water and sewer rates, in response to decreased citywide usage. Even with modest increases, rates remain below 2015 levels.
- On the expense side, we are proposing to continue building strategic reserves like our rainy day fund and the equipment replacement reserve. We are also proposing an aggressive capital improvement program, including upgrades to City parks and facilities, transportation improvements, and the development of additional economic development assets.
Take a look at the proposal, and be sure to weigh in. Council will hold a public hearing on October 5th at 7 p.m. at the Public Safety Building. Work sessions are scheduled for 6 p.m. on October 12th and 16th, and adoption is scheduled for 6 p.m. on October 25th.