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Marion budget shows multiple tax increases

Staff writer

A $2,256,953 budget that outlines a 13.5% increase in property taxes was unveiled Monday to Marion City Council members.

City administrator Brogan Jones said consultant Scot Loyd had made the 13-page budget available just before council members met.

They did not talk about it at their meeting. The only public discussion to date occurred July 5, when Loyd said the city wasn’t putting enough money in reserves for future capital expenses — what many governmental bodies call a rainy-day fund.

The budget includes the equivalent of 27.45 mills in additional general fund spending above this year’s estimated level. Cuts elsewhere limit the total estimated mill increase to 8.901.

These line items show increased spending:

  • General administration: up 8.1% or 1.986 mills.
  • Cemetery: up 17.1% or 0.980 mills.
  • Flood/weed control: up 25% or 0.084 mills.
  • Fire: up 26.7% or 1.146 mills.
  • Library: up 28.7% or 1.986 mills.
  • Museum: up 142.3% or 1.986 mills.
  • Parks: up 21.4% or 1.261 mills.
  • Municipal court: up 170.3% or 1.986 mills.
  • Streets and alleys: up 52.3% or 10.113 mills.
  • Economic development: up 236.3% or 1.986 mills.
  • Law enforcement: up 5.5% pr 1.946 mills.
  • Community enrichment: up 30.1% or 1.986 mills.

Spending for police — the biggest line item in the general fund budget — already was projected to increase 12.8% this year from the previous year. That came despite the department operating for most of the year so far with two or three of the five positions vacant.

Jones said the budget would be discussed Aug. 21 — too late to make changes in the mill rate that will be presented at what normally is a perfunctory public hearing on the budget Sept. 5.

The proposed mill rate is 74.774. The revenue-neutral rate would be 65.873.

The council could vote Sept. 5 to reduce spending and change the mill rate but in the past has tended to adopt whatever budget was presented without change.

Last modified Aug. 10, 2023

 

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