City holds the line again on property tax levy

HOW MANY THINGS STILL cost the same that they did five years ago? There’s more things that aren’t than those that are, but city government in Plymouth can be counted among the latter.

The 2015 city budget approved by the City Council last week included a property tax levy of just over $4 million – the same levy as the 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 city budget.

By any measure, that’s a pretty impressive record – and good news for local property taxpayers.

Property tax rates can fluctuate with increases or decreases in total property values in a given municipality – and over the last five years, we’ve seen some of both here.

An individual property tax bill can fluctuate as well from year to year depending on various factors – total property values citywide, improvements or increases in value in a particular home, falling home prices in general, and more.

But the bottom line for taxpayers is how much the total bill for government is, and that is the property tax levy.

Many factors impact the total levy as well – increased demands for government services, the increased costs of goods and services needed to provide government services, increases in salaries and benefits for city employees, declining revenues from the state and federal governments, and much more.

The smaller a unit of government, the greater impact any fluctuation in any of those factors will have on the bottom line – the property tax levy.

That makes the city’s track record over the last half-decade all the more impressive.

In an era of increased demands on government, declining state revenue sharing and increased costs, Plymouth’s city government has been able to hold the property tax level for five years running.

It’s a testament, first, to the level of professional management brought to city government by the hiring of a full-time city administrator – something that we at The Review felt was long overdue.

City Administrator Brian Yerges has brought discipline, structure and goals to the city’s budgeting process that all too often were lacking in the past, and that has paid off for city taxpayers.

Beyond that, it is even more a tribute to everyone in city government – from top administrators to every single employee.

They have made a commitment to provide the services the citizens of the city demand and deserve, while also making the effort to control the costs of those services to provide another service to the taxpayers – to their tax bills and wallets.

All deserve our thanks and appreciation.

At issue:
City budget, tax levy
Bottom line:
Good news for taxpayers

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