Taxes likely up in Milton
If you go
What: Milton City Council public hearing on the proposed 2012 city budget and tax levy. The council could vote on the budget immediately after the hearing.
When: 6:30 p.m. today.
Where: Milton City Hall, 430 E. High St., Milton.
MILTON The Milton City Council today will consider a 2012 city budget that would mean a 4.7 percent increase in the city tax levy and a nearly 8 percent increase in the tax rate.
The Milton City Council on Nov. 15 held off on voting on the budget because at the time the city still was missing state assessments on manufacturing properties, information needed to calculate its proposed tax rate.
City staff had estimated the new budget would mean an approximately 1.8 percent "cost of living" increase with the projected tax rate and cost of services factored together.
In an email, City Administrator Jerry Schuetz wrote that the city has since received manufacturing assessments, and the proposed tax rate is now estimated to climb 8 percent compared to last year.
The increase would amount to an increase of about $57 for the city portion of a tax bill on a $100,000 home.
The increase comes even after city staff made $300,000 in budget cuts since March 2011, when budget planning began last spring, the city reports.
About $107,000 of the cuts came through employee concessions to pay and benefits and a proposed employee health insurance change. City departments also trimmed $125,000 in spending.
Those cuts were an answer to a possible $420,000 budget gap and 18 percent tax levy increase—both of which arose amid revenue losses, including $120,000 in anticipated cuts to state shared revenues.
Meanwhile, talks continued Monday between the city and its department of public works union over a proposed change in the city's health insurance carrier.
Other city employees agreed to change carriers earlier this year under a plan that along with a switch by the public works union would save $60,000, according to city figures. The savings already are factored into the proposed budget.
As of Monday afternoon, neither the city nor the union was prepared to release a statement on the talks.
2012 MILTON BUDGET
A look at the 2012 budget for the city of Milton.
Next year $4.02 million
This year $4.06 million
Decrease 1.03 percent
Next year $2.47 million
This year $2.36 million
Increase 4.7 percent
(Per $1,000 of assessed valuation)
Next year $7.68
This year $7.11
Increase 8 percent
Note: Percent changes calculated on whole numbers.