I wanted to be sure that everyone knew that the Mayor's Proposed 2012 Budget is available online (you can also go the the City Clerk's office and purchase one if you prefer to have a paper copy) You can also click on the link below where you can download the .pdf file.
The Public Hearing date has been set for Wednesday November 2nd beginning at 7pm in the Common Council Chambers at City Hall. I urge you to take a look at this budget and I welcome everyone to come to this hearing and speak up with your thoughts.
As you know, we are dealing with the 2% tax cap which made this budget a difficult one. With the mandated items such as health insurance costs, retirement and debt service the Mayor has decided to tap into the City's fund balance to the tune of $1.2 million leaving us with a very small nest egg for the future. This is very scary as we will have very little to fall back on.
Without getting too complicated, this budget will be raising our tax rate by .67% for homestead and .72% for non homestead properties when compared to the 2011 Budget. However when you take into consideration that our assessed values across the city dropped nearly 12% this past year the actual amount per thousand you will be paying increases by about 11.9%. (It's confusing) The rates per thousand are this: $7.09 for residences and $14.37 for commercial properties.
One other part of the 'smoke & mirrors' portion of this is the increase in both the sewer rates and the water rates. These fees sneak up on you and most definately increases the burden on our taxpayers.
I would also be remiss if I did not point out that the bill for our Safety Net is $1.4 million dollars for the upcoming year.
It is now up to the Council to go through the budget and make recommendations for adjustments. Raiding the fund balance is like playing Russian Roullette.