City budget tight; mill levy may go up


Tight, very tight, is what Marysville’s proposed city budget looks like for 2008 and, if approved at the Aug. 13 City Council meeting, the mill levy will increase from 68.762 to 69.135 mills.

The proposed budget is $10,820,679 compared to the $10,686,198 for 2007, an increase of $134,481. The proposed levy of $1,561,409 is $17,294 higher than this year’s $1,544,115.

Homeowners with an assessed valuation of $100,000 will pay $4.29 more for property taxes. A homeowner with an assessed valuation of $150,000 would pay $6.43 more and one with $200,000 would pay $8.58 more.

One mill will generate $22,585, which could change on Nov. 1, depending if personal property taxes go up or down, said City Administrator Rick Shain.

The city’s assessed valuation is $22,585,174, up from the $22,456,560 for 2007.
The city will use $180,000 of sales tax monies, divided into 12 months, to supplement the general fund. Even using sales tax monies, Shain could not decrease the mills after the Kansas Legislature granted businesses an exemption on personal property taxes for new equipment. Marysville lost $382,595 in personal property valuation, but increases in real estate, changes in land use and state-assessed valuations on utilities helped offset that loss, Shain said. Though there are rumors the state may give back 90 percent of that money cities are losing, Shain said city governments were told there is no certainty any money will be refunded.

“It appears it’s having the opposite effect than what the governor wanted,” he said at Monday night’s budget planning session in the City Building. “All mill levies are going up.”

The city’s 2007 outstanding indebtedness was more than $7.5 million, an increase of $785,808 from 2006. The expenses are for brick street improvements, payments for vehicles, fire trucks, water meter replacement, and sewer, water and other street improvements.

The 2008 proposed budget in the general fund shows a drop in mills from 36.136 budgeted in 2007 to 35.13. The industrial fund dropped from 1.745 to 1.735 and the employee benefit fund was down from 17.237 to 17.139.
Mill increases were in the library fund, which rose from 5.944 budgeted in 2007 to a proposed 6.427. Most of the increase is needed to make salary adjustments in wages to remain competitive, Shain said.

“They have a 7-mill cap by charter ordinance,” Shain said. “They are under that.”

The library employee benefit fund is up from 1.022 budgeted for 2007 to 1.107.

The city’s bond and interest fund shows a significant increase from 6.678 mills to 7.597.

The bond and interest fund needs to carry over a balance of one year of debt service and it will take several years to reach that level of financial security, Shain said.

Capital outlay items budgeted totaled $221,197, of which $157,600 was for new equipment. Items included vehicle payments, building improvements, software updates and computer replacement, equipment replacement such as additions to the cemetery shop and water shop, manhole rehabilitation, payments on a pump station for Keystone, video recorders for police vehicles, monitors and protective clothing for the fire department, trimmers, mowers, a heating system for City Park restrooms, pool painting and repair, ball park improvements, street light improvements and Christmas decorations.

By Julie Perry, Marysville Advocate


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