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City proposal would keep same tax rate
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McMinnville officials will be considering the proposed budget for fiscal year 2013-14 on June 25, as well as a recommendation to leave the tax rate unchanged from last year’s $2.09.
“Do I hear a recommendation to set the tax rate at $2.09, which will cover this budget,” said Finance Committee chairman Ken Smith on Thursday night.
Alderman Ben Newman made the motion and Alderman Mike Neal gave a second. The motion passed unanimously.
The budget includes:
• A salary adjustment of $1,400 for all full-time employees. The increase adds approximately $214,000 to the overall budget.
• Donations to nonprofits totaling $168,231.
• Restoring 300 streetlights within the city of McMinnville at an estimated installation cost of $1,800 and an estimated annual cost of $32,226.
The proposed budget has an ending balance in June 2014 of $3.7 million. Approximately $2 million is needed to pay expenses at the beginning of fiscal year 2014-15, leaving the city $1.7 million as a “rainy day fund.”
Smith says he has been asked by individuals why the city needs such a large fund balance.
“I think you can look back several years ago when the city of McMinnville had zero or close to zero fund balance to understand why,” said Smith. “I have heard from several aldermen who were aldermen then and now and they say they were worried they could not make payroll or they couldn’t pay their bills.”
Smith says the city needs a fund balance fit enough to meet the expected needs – and the unexpected needs – of the city to prevent issues that might arise. Smith credits city administrator David Rutherford for improving the city’s financial situation.
“I think Mr. Rutherford has done a wonderful job budgeting to get the fund balance where it is today,” said Smith.
The budget, tax rate included, will be sent to the full board for its consideration on June 25. Changes can still be made.