UNION — A tax increase that helps the City of Union recoup a prior fiscal year’s budget deficit is part of the 2013-2014 municipal tax levy approved by Union City Council.
Council voted unanimously during a special meeting Tuesday morning to approve second and final reading of the ordinance that sets the 2013-2014 municipal tax levy at 92.5 mills, an increase of 12.5 mills over the 2012-2013 levy of 80 mills. The 12.5 mill increase includes 2.5 mills which are projected to generate $36,050 in revenue for general fund operations. The increase is the maximum permitted under state law.
With the increase, a city resident with an owner-occupied home valued at $100,000 will pay an additional $10 in property taxes.
The balance of the increase is 10 mills which are projected to generate $144,000 in revenue. Unlike the 2.5 mill increase, the increase is a temporary one designed to help the city recoup a prior year deficit totaling $246,080. To recoup the entire amount in a single year would have required a 17 mill increase, but council opted instead to levy only a 10 mill increase. Once the deficit is recouped, the increase will be repealed.
A city resident with an owner-occupied home valued at $100,000 will pay an additional $40 in property taxes, but this will be eliminated with the repeal of the increase.
The total property tax increase for residents with owner-occupied houses valued at $100,000 will be $50, but those who qualify for the Homestead Exemption will only pay an additional $25.
Council also voted unanimously Tuesday to approve second and final reading of the ordinance setting the 2013-2014 budget. The budget totals $41,870,350 including the Utility Fund ($34,056,240), General Fund ($5,716,480), and Solid Waste Management Fund ($772,760).
The Utility Fund projects expenditures of $34,115,050 and revenues of $33,786,270 leaving a projected deficit of $328,780. This will be balanced partly by a 10 percent increase in the water and a 15 percent increase in the waste water rates charged city customers. This would amount to a net increase of $7.25 a month for customers living within the city’s municipal limits.
Electric rates, however, will decline slightly for most city customers while the natural gas rates will remain unchanged.
Cash reserves and grants and/or borrowing for capital improvements will also be used to balance the utility budget.
The budget also includes $92,000 for equipment for the utility department including a plotter ($5,000), utility truck ($38,000), pickup truck for the natural gas division ($24,000), and a pickup truck for meter reading ($25,000). It also includes $1,979,000 in capital construction for the utility department’s electrical ($305,000), water ($516,000), waste water ($533,000), and natural gas ($625,000) divisions.
The General Fund also projects a deficit with expenditures of $5,742,370 and revenues of $4,789,670 leaving a projected deficit of $952,700. To budget will be balanced with revenue generated by the tax millage increase, a 10-cent increase in the per $1,000 rate for the municipal business license fee; and the transfer of $763,070 from the city’s fund balance to the general fund.
It also includes $189,300 for equipment replacement.
Solid Waste Management Fund
The Solid Waste Management Fund projects $798,650 in revenue and $772,760 in expenditures leaving a balance of $25,890. This will be achieved through a $75,000 transfer from the general fund and a $1 increase in the garbage collection fee which would go from $14 to $15 a month. The increase in the fee is projected to generate $55,900 in revenue.
The budget also includes a two percent cost of living adjustment for municipal employees as well as funding for three additional employees.
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com.