City passes 2013 budget with no tax increase
The Common Council voted Wednesday to approve a zero percent increase from the 2012 budget.
“We said that was our intention from the beginning,” said Mayor Michael Tucker. “It was a challenge for us but we proved we can do it.”
The tax rate will remain the same at $14.73 per $1,000 of assessed property value.
When the budget process first began, the city was facing a 40 percent tax increase. Over the past few months the council has worked to lower the increase despite facing a decline in revenues and rising costs.
Last year the city voted to override the state’s two percent tax cap, which they were not willing to do this year.
Tucker said they knew residents could not afford any more of a tax increase and wanted to keep taxes the same.
“We got to where we needed to be and no one got laid off,” he said.
In order to get to the flat rate, Tucker said they did have to make some assumptions with employee benefit savings. The assumptions are because the five unions are just now beginning negations with the city for new contracts.