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First look – Decatur publishes draft budget


First look – Decatur publishes draft budget

Decatur City Hall.
Decatur City Hall

Decatur City Hall

The city of Decatur has released a draft of its proposed Fiscal Year 2015 budget.

There will be a twist to the budget process this year. Because of higher tax revenues, the city is required to advertise a 6.62 percent tax increase and hold public hearings. The current tax rate of 13 mills won’t change, however. The higher property values will mean higher taxes for property owners.

The city posted all of its budget documents on its website, which you can see by clicking here. Commissioners will likely vote on the budget in June. Fiscal years in the city of Decatur start July 1 and end June 30. We are currently in Fiscal Year 2014 and the current budget under consideration is for Fiscal Year 2015.

Some of the initial highlights from the budget summary:

– The proposed general fund budget – what the city spends on operations – is $21.8 million, a five percent increase over the revised Fiscal Year 2014 budget.

– It includes a 3 percent cost of living increase for employees.

– The city is estimating a 13.6 percent increase in tax revenue. The revised tax revenue estimate for Fiscal 2014 is $15.3 million. The estimate for Fiscal 2015 is $17.4 million.

– The city’s other funds budget, which includes brick and mortar capital projects and debt service, is $18.9 million.

– One item that might interest people who have kept up with the development of the city’s new tree protection ordinance. When the city commission adopted the Fiscal Year 2014 budget, it anticipated $10,000 in tree bank revenue. The revised figure shows the city’s tree bank received 150 percent more than that, bringing in an estimated $25,000. The Fiscal Year 2015 budget estimates the tree bank will bring in $15,000.

Got observations and questions about the budget proposal? Send them to [email protected]