City budget has slight levy, tax increases

by Emmitt B. Feldner
of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – The City Council got its first look Tuesday at the proposed 2018 city budget that includes slight increases in the property tax levy and tax rate.

City Administrator Brian Yerges presented the proposed $7,525,563 budget to the council prior to a public hearing and final vote at the Nov. 14 council meeting.

For the second year in a row, the budget includes a $100,000 increase in the levy to $4,208,042, a 2.4 percent increase over the 2017 budget.

Yerges noted that, under the state levy cap formula, the city could have raised the levy by as much as 2.7 percent.

It marks the second year that the city has considered raising the levy by $100,000, after keeping it the same for the previous six years.

The property tax for the proposed budget would be $6.79 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, an increase of two cents – less than one percent – from the previous year.

Total spending is up 3.9 percent in the proposed budget, with Yerges noting that much of that is thanks to increased state transportation and other aids.

City residents will see increases in the garbage and recycling fees on their property tax bills, Yerges noted. The increases – $8.53 in the garbage collection fee and $5.10 in the recycling fee – are part of a series of annual fees built into the city’s garbage collection contract.

“That actually increases less this year than last year,” Yerges said of the garbage and recycling fees.

There will be no increase in the electric and sewer rates in 2018, while a 3 percent increase in the water rate approved by the council earlier this year will take effect, Yerges said.

Yerges outlined some of the major projects included in the 2018 city budget.

The major street projects will be on Reed Street ($230,000) and West Mill Street from Milwaukee Street to Pleasant Street ($90,000).

Meyer Park on the city’s southwest side will get a public restroom and shelter building in a $300,282 project.

The municipal parking ramp at the east end of East Mill Street will get $202,000 of repairs next year.

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