Afton considers small tax hikeAfton City Council proposed budget increase of 2.2 percent and levy increase of 2.8 percent.
By: Amber Kispert-Smith, Woodbury Bulletin
Budget season has officially kicked off in Afton.
Afton City Council held its first workshop Aug. 6 on the preliminary 2013 budget.
The preliminary 2013 budget is set at $1,068,717, an increase of $22,791 – or 2.2 percent – over last year’s budget.
The preliminary 2013 general fund levy is set at $882,007, an increase of $22,766 –or 2.6 percent – over the 2012 general fund levy.
The total levy, which includes the general fund levy and the debt service and transfer levies, is proposed to be $1,617,375. That increase is a $44,053, or 2.8 percent, increase over 2012.
Based on the proposed levy, the city’s tax rate would increase from 30.078 percent to 30.572 percent.
The proposed budget and tax levy would result in the city’s share of property taxes on a home valued at $200,000 being $552.74, an increase of $7.73, or 1.4 percent.
For a home valued at $400,000 the city’s share of property taxes would be $1,219.21 – an increase of $17.29, or 1.4 percent.
Some key items affecting the 2013 budget include:
• Expenditures related to the city administrator salary are up $17,000 to reflect the current pay level. The Personnel Committee is in the process of working with the interim city administrator regarding a proposal for a longer term employment relationship.
• Costs related to the general liability insurance have been reduced by $18,000 due to a substantial reduction in the level of claims.
• Fire and ambulance service expenditures are up $10,156, or 5.4 percent, per the 2012 fire service budget.
• Street maintenance/sweeping/pothole repair expenditures are proposed to increase from $10,000 to $21,000, which is an increase of 110 percent, to reflect actual maintenance needs and costs.
• Transfer to the street improvement fund is proposed at $196,000, which is an increase of $25,000 or 17 percent over the 2012 amount of $171,000.
“The primary responsibility that the city has is roads,” City Council Member Joe Richter said. “Anytime we can throw money into funds from somewhere else, nine times out of 10 it should be thrown into roads.”
Additional proposed transfers include:
• The transfer to the road debt service fund is increasing by $10,000, or 3.5 percent, to reflect increase debt service amounts on the road paving bonds per the debt service schedule.
• Transfer to the audit and legal reserve fund is proposed to be reduced from $20,000 to $1,000 due to the elimination of the needs to fund legal expenses.
Afton City Council will meet to discuss the preliminary 2013 budget at 5 p.m. Aug. 21 before the regular City Council meeting.