City property owners will see only a 0.54 percent increase in their tax bill next year if a proposed $37.1 million 2012 city budget is adopted.
City Finance Commission Kenneth Ivins unveiled a 2012 spending plan today that cuts spending by nearly $800,000 over the current budget.
Ivins said his goal during the budget process was to reduce the small tax increase to a slight tax rate decrease in 2012.
When the City Council started working on the 2011 city budget last fall the tax rate increase was projected at more than 8 percent. The 2011 tax rate increase was reduced to 4.45 percent after the city received more sales tax revenue than expected and made other budget reductions.
This year, the city received an unexpected $1.49 million in video lottery terminal revenue from the state for hosting the Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Most of this money was placed in a tax stabilization fund but no money from this fund is being used in the proposed 2012 budgete, Ivins said.
Ivins is not proposing any staff cuts. However, a new position of reservations coordinator for the Canfield Casino in Congress Park is not included. The City Council approved this new position this fall but Ivins said he cannot support it at this time.
The City Council will hold several budget workshops over the next month. The council will also hold public hearings on the budget on Oct. 8 and Nov. 15. The council must approve a 2012 budget by Nov. 30 or the comprehensive budget as released by Ivins on Tuesday will become the final 2012 budget.
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