August 28, 2019

Cautious Optimism for a Lower Tax Rate

A bit of good news as we continue developing next year’s budget, we’ve now received our certified tax roll with better-than-projected growth from new construction.  That, along with some other adjustments, modestly brings down the City Manager’s proposal from an 8% to a 7.1% property tax revenue increase.  But it doesn’t alter his fundamental recommendation that we plan conservatively for the several years to follow, by building a healthy reserve now.  The question remains, just how conservative about that do we want to be?  That’s ultimately for the City Council to decide, and we’re looking at whether we can justify relaxing some of the assumptions in our forecast, to reduce the amount of reserve we think we’ll need and therefore lower the tax rate further.

August 5, 2019

Common Misconceptions About the Proposed Budget and Tax Rate

The initial presentation of the proposed budget last month has prompted some community interest and concern about our tax rate.  Good.  It’s an important subject that ought to concern all of us.  Of course nobody’s ever happy about the prospect of a tax increase—your City Council included; we’re taxpayers, too—and we’ve got some difficult choices to make if we want to avoid or at least minimize one.

While it’s the City Council that’s ultimately charged with making the tough decisions, we look to you, our fellow taxpayers, for your input in adopting a budget and tax rate that’s representative of our community’s needs and desires.  So we’re looking forward to next Monday’s public hearing on the proposed budget, and appreciate the input you’ve provided thus far.  In my recent conversations and e-mails with several of you, I’ve addressed some common misconceptions about the proposed budget and tax rate that I’d now like to share with the broader audience and for the benefit of our ongoing community discussion.