The City Council is proposing a 2017/2018 budget, which includes taking what would ordinarily be a surplus and budgeting to add significantly to the payment on the City’s only long-term debt obligation ($2.125 million bonds for the new 5,000 s.f. City Hall building), which will save taxpayers more than $100,000 in principal and interest over the life of the bonds, should the City be unable to find a buyer for the building (an idea that citizens gave strong support for in last year’s Citizen Survey) within the next few years. The Council has worked to cut costs, modify and update inspection fees, and better manage investment accounts to create a more efficient government.
Councilman Scott Turnbull, who leads the Finance efforts on the Council, noted that the sooner the debt is paid off, the sooner that portion of the City’s tax-rate will, by law, be reduced. Turnbull stated that “if future Council’s will follow our lead by budgeting what would end up being year-end surpluses toward this debt obligation, then we can cut the current debt obligation by more than $400,000 over the life of the 20-year bonds.”
The Council is also proposing a reduction in the tax rate to a flat $0.15. A Special Meeting of the City Council will be convened on Tuesday, September 19, for the second Public Hearing on the proposed tax rate.