Auburn Council Approves 2011-12 Budget with Slight Rise in Tax Receipts While Actual Levy Stays Same
During a Sept. 12 special meeting, Auburn City Council approved the Fiscal Year 2011-12 budget as proposed. Mayor Scott Kudrna summarized the proposal prior to the vote and noted that budgets for the separate city departments nearly all showed a reduction from Fiscal Year 2010-11.
The 2011 assessed valuation for the City of Auburn is $122,034,294, which is $1,419,150 more than last year. The city expects to collect $574,322 in property taxes for 2011-12, an increase of $6,679 or 1.18% over the prior fiscal year. Auburn’s budget was impacted by a loss of $27,197 in state aid, the current sales tax trend which is fairly constant, and a loss of nearly $3,000 in tax revenue due to Tax Increment Financing.
Sources of revenue this year are projected to be $1,687,244, including $506,582 actual dollars in property tax; $390,000 in sales tax ($50,000 restricted to road use); $349,750 in restricted Roads funds; franchise fees ($125,000 from Board of Public Works and $80,000 from others); at least a minimum $60,000 due to the city in paving assessments; and an estimated $80,600 in city fees, licenses or services.
Capital Projects Planned
Capital projects planned for 2011-12 include an asphalt overlay project on about 20 blocks at an estimated expense of $400,000 and a Highway 136 pedestrian crossing near the Auburn Public Schools Grades 6-12 campus and the Educational Service Unit #4 Learning Center. The use of grant monies and other agency participation should reduce the city’s expense for the traffic signal to be $5,000.
Amounts Budgeted for Individual Departments
Amounts budgeted for each department follow, with last year’s operating costs indicated by parenthesis:
Street Department—$286,072 ($377,565)
General (City Hall)—$294,334 ($405,318)
Parks & City Recreation—$70,042 ($129,825)
Swimming Pool—$52,545 ($71,374)
Senior Center—$29,850 ($29,371)
Debt Service—$246,573. The city has five bonds outstanding with a principal balance of $2,015,000. $355,750 in assessments are due to the city. There are currently $105,358 in paid assessments in the checking account. The city’s share of the assessments was $1,553,892. The minimum annual payment (with fees) on bonds is $306,573 in 2011.
Minimum bond payments for future years are:
The budget includes a minimum cash balance of $200,000. Also, there will be $160,000 in bond payments early in the year, $33,000 for a new police cruiser, and $6,359 designated for the Fire Department sinking fund.
Next year’s budget also includes a projected two percent salary increase which will amount to about $10,000.
Proposed Sales Tax Increase
Potential revenue can include a new half-cent city sales tax for capital projects with four months of collections possibly raising $33,333 and franchise fees potentially collecting $60,000. A vote by mail of Auburn residents on the proposed half-cent sales tax will take place November 15, with the monies generated to be divided between capital improvements and property tax relief. The ballot will include two propositions:
1: for or against the one-half of one percent sales and use tax; and
2: for or against a ten year sunset on the added tax.
The vote on the Fiscal Year 2011-12 Budget passed 5-1, with Councilman Shawn Clark dissenting.
In other budget-related matters, the council voted unanimously to approve the following routine items:
• To increase the base of restricted funds and the allowable growth increase.
• To exceed the budget limit by an additional 1 percent by a super-majority vote.
• Unused restricted funds authority; and
• The ordinance also known as the Annual Appropriation Bill.
Tax Request Remains Same
During the Sept. 26 regular meeting, the Council set the final tax request for the 2011 tax year. The 2011 tax rate is 0.475377, the same as 2010’s.
Other action items from Monday night’s Auburn City Council meeting will be reported in next week’s Nemaha County Herald.