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Setting the FY 2019 Tax Rate

PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:56 am
by Jimmy Flannigan
Colleagues,

This week we set a maximum proposed tax rate for FY 2019 that is 6% above the effective tax rate. While I continue to support the Manager’s budgeted increase of 4.9% reached as a result of our year long strategic planning process, I anticipate our ongoing budget conversations will include contemplating the full 6% increase.

Given a possible proposed tax increase of 6%, the city has the potential to collect an additional $5 million of taxpayer dollars. I know that many of us will hear from great organizations and programs over the next month that do good work and deserve our support. It happens every year and we end up earmarking millions of dollars in projects that have an unclear impact on the overall strategic direction we have agreed upon as a Council. Many of us have lamented this procedure hoping for a new budget process, and our City Staff has started to deliver on that request.

If we do decide to increase the tax rate beyond the Manager’s budget, I know we all want to treat any additional taxpayer dollars with the same respect and responsibility we asked of staff for the entire budget. That means focusing on our strategic outcomes instead of earmarked projects.

I believe that we must allocate any additional tax dollars to our Government That Works outcome, specifically into the Deferred Maintenance Fund. The focus on the condition and quality of our city-owned property (pools, parks, public facilities, etc.) was one of our top ten strategic indicators. By preventing the further deterioration of our public facilities, we can also reduce the deterioration of the public trust in their beloved community assets, address unsafe conditions for the public and city staff, and lessen the need to issue debt in the future which reduces our overall bonding capacity.

We will all feel the pressure, as we do every year, to pick and choose and make programming decisions through our budget, but I think we should support our own request of staff to budget along our strategic framework. I hope you will join me.

CM Flannigan