Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Council Meeting 6/13/12 - Discussion of the Budget

Much discussion was held on the 2012-2013 fiscal year budget. The council discussed their philosophical approaches to funding items. Historically Taylorsville has been a "pay-as-you-go" city. Our City Hall was built with cash and our city councils have always thought long and hard before bonding for any items.

Currently Taylorsville has a storm drain bond, and last year a bond for economic development was approved by the council. Knowing the need to rebuild one fire station (station 117) and building a third fire station will be necessary, Councilmember Rechtenbach felt like philosophically it made more sense to join the Fire District rather than bond for those items. He said the "pay-as-you-go" program saves taxpayers money on interest and then does not encumber residents with debt for 10-15 years. He asked the council for other ideas to move the city forward. Councilmember Johnson did not like Rechtenbach's budget proposal, but no other council members had any other ideas. Councilmember Barbour commended Rechtenbach for looking outside the box and coming up with some solutions.

Mayor Wall asked the council to give the administration direction so they can have the final budget proposal ready for next week when the budget must be approved. (By law the budget must be approved by June 22.)

The city council did a straw poll to see which direction they wanted to go for next week. (They can't take any official action during a work session.) Four of the five council members voted to use UPD for all our police services, join the Fire District, and not have any property tax increases for 2012. (Johnson was the dissenting vote.)

Because joining the Fire District in January 2013 means that we only need a half-year contract with UFA, the council was able to make up $1.9 million in savings, which meant they didn't need the property tax increase to cover expenses.

In 2013, joining the Fire District would result in an increase to property taxes of approximately $11.82 per month on a $197,000 home. Residents would get an additional fire station, rebuild of fire station 117 and additional fire personnel with joining the Fire District. It would also leave revenue for the city to use for capital improvement projects so they wouldn't have to bond and could continue the "pay-as-you-go" philosophy.

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