City lowers millage rate

Published 7:29 pm Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The City Council unanimously voted to drop the millage rate by one mil during its meeting Tuesday.

Councilwoman Roslyn Palmer previously had suggested analyzing the numbers to see if they could adopt a new millage rate at the city’s last meeting. This would change the rate from 5.075 to 4.075. Although the millage rate had been advertised as flat, the Council could discuss any number as long as it did not drive the rate up.

Councilwoman Glennie Bench said she was considering supporting a half mil decrease. She was worried because they set a revenue plan for water budgeting and they have not even operated under it for a full year, and she felt like they would be abandoning that plan without the opportunity to see the additional revenue it might raise. She realizes everyone wants to get the millage rates back down to what they once were—before the downturn in economy—but right now it just felt like “too much, too fast.”

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One of Bench’s primary concerns is that auditors had asked them to build a certain level of money in their reserves, but they have yet to budget what they are supposed to.

She fears they are voting for a decrease when they haven’t even met their goal from last year. She felt like the half mil was more manageable and would be easier to tweak numbers with.

Councilman Don Whaley agreed with Palmer and stated that he does see where Bench is coming from and recognizes the challenges they will face with the reserve, but sees this as an opportunity to lower the millage and find other sources of revenue. Whaley made the motion to lower by one mil and Palmer seconded it.

Although they lowered it a full mil, Bench still voted for it because she was for dropping the millage rate and she didn’t feel like it was right to vote against it just because it wasn’t the number she hoped for, she said.