Council OKs city budget for next year
A $1.5 million increase in the Tonganoxie's assessed property valuation has allowed the city to hold the line on taxes required to support the 2001 budget.
The valuation increased from $12,954,353 in 2000 to a projected amount of $14,597,585 for 2001.
The mill rate for the 2001 budget will be 33.026, compared with 33.712 for the 2000 budget. A mill is $1 in taxes for every $1,000 of assessed property valuation.
Last Wednesday, city council members approved the budget submitted by City Administrator Chris Clark. In August, based on information from an independent auditor, council members conducted a public hearing and actually set a spending limit for the budget.
"This is really a reflection of what the auditor did in August," Clark said. "I believe this is a realistic budget, and we can go into 2001 with this budget."
Next year, council members hope to finalize the 2002 budget in August, rather than waiting until December.
Clark said he hopes to continue to find new revenue sources for the city. Among those included on his list are: allowing cell towers on city water towers, which could bring in $12,000 to $30,000 annually, and moving city funds to a municipal investment pool, which could bring in $10,000 to $25,000 annually.
In addition, he hopes to initiate a municipal excise tax that would be collected from developers of new properties in town. That could bring in an additional $50,000 each year, he said. And he already has decreased the amount the city will pay in 2001 for building inspection services, a move that could mean $15,000 to $23,000 more in city coffers.
"Over the next six months, I'll bring some of these to the council," Clark said. "Development does have a cost to it."
The 2001 budget contains few new services.
"What you got last year is pretty much what you'll get this year," Clark told council members. "This budget is fairly conservative. We'll make changes as time goes on."
Council members said they were pleased with the budget.
"I think it was extremely well put together," said Pat Albert.