The city’s property tax rate would increase by 3 percent for fiscal year 2013-14 if commissioners hold to a tentative rate adopted Tuesday at a budget meeting held at the city library.
The commission unanimously approved a 7.9 millage rate for 2013-14, up from this year’s 7.6 percent.
City Manager Lori LaVerriere had proposed a 7.8 millage rate for 2013-14 prior to the regular commission meeting July 16.
The general fund budget proposal for 2013-14 is $71.2 million, up almost 3.5 percent from 2013’s budget of $68.8 million.
The increase covers the health and property insurance cost increases and potential wage increases, LaVerriere said. The budget recommendations would keep the fire assessment fee at $88 per household.
The city’s total proposed budget is $184 million, which includes the general fund and other departments.
The budget, tax and fire assessment rates were discussed at length Tuesday during the second of what was to be three budget meetings. The final one scheduled for today was cancelled.
Commissioner David Merker voiced support for the property tax increase.
“I wanted the extra, just in case,” he said. “It’s better to think of the future and not be afraid to think positively, but you also have to sometimes think just in case. The extra is not astronomical. Why not be careful and cautious and protect people?”
Public hearings on the budget will be held Sept. 3 and Sept. 17. A public hearing and final approval of the fire assessment resolution is scheduled for Sept. 12.
Final approval of the budget and tax rate is set for Sept. 17.