Local News

City levy stays same

The Hebron City Council met in a special session Wednesday, Sept. 1, due to the Labor Day holiday Monday, Sept. 6. At the meeting, the council heard and accepted the 2011 city budget.
City accountant Brian Blobaum presented the summary stating council members are required by state statute to set the property tax request for the general fund and bond fund for 2011, then set the maximum allowed expenditures limit for the City as a whole for the 2010-11 fiscal year.
This year, Blobaum suggested leaving the levy rate at 46 cents, the same as last year, which sets the property tax at $239,458 in the general fund. Last year the property tax was set at $235,086 and the levy rate was raised from 43.8 cents to 46 cents.
“We’re projecting not quite as big a growth as the previous year, but it is still growing,” he told the council. “Your cash position continues to be strong.”
For the bond fund property tax, $15,599 was set for 2011 requiring a levy rate of three cents per $100 valuation, which is the same as last year. For 2010, the tax was set at $15,345 requiring a two percent increase from 2009.
“The total net property tax increase of all funds is budgeted at two percent for this year, the same as last year,” Blobaum said in his report to the council. “New property growth will absorb 63 percent of the two percent increase.”
Overall, budget expenditures for the City are set at approximately $8.5 million for 2010-11 versus an estimated actual expenditure of approximately $3.65 million for the current fiscal year.
Blobaum commented in his report that the overall projected cash position of $4.54 million appears to have increased over the beginning of the year amount of $4.27 million and two years ago of $3.9 million.  Blobaum cautioned the council that the $4.54 million amount is very preliminary and is based on estimates for the final months of the fiscal year.
“Although growth is slowed,” he stated in the report, “your position is strong. But, as has been the case in the last few years, of particular continuing concern is the lid bill limitation for the future.”
The City’s growth in restricted revenues, with the addition of sales tax, has far exceeded the allowed inflation increase, a situation Blobaum warned the council about last year. State statutes impose a “lid bill,” which seeks to limit the growth of  budgeted restricted funds revenues. Restricted funds revenues come from property tax, state pass-through revenues, sales tax and transfers of excess utility funds monies.
With the past addition of sales tax, growth in restricted revenues has far exceeded the allowed inflation increase, Blobaum reported, and the City’s use of this additional revenue will need to be carefully monitored to be used for lid exceptions, primarily real estate capital outlays.
A detailed financial report as well as fund breakdown of the 2011 City budget is kept on file at the City Office.

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