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No property tax increase, but Centerville seeks funding
by JENNIFFER WARDELL
May 28, 2014 | 862 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print

CENTERVILLE - Hoping to find funding elsewhere, city officials won’t ask for a property tax increase this year.

The city’s tentative budget for next year, which is expected to receive final approval in June, focuses on other potential sources that might help the city meet their general fund needs when next year’s budget rolls around. If those don’t pan out, however, the city may have to consider an increase next year.

“Centerville City has not raised its property tax rate through a Truth-in-Taxation process for more than 20 years,” wrote Centerville City Manager Steve Thacker in the budget message. “The only increase in property taxes the city received over that period is attributable to new development.”

Though that’s not being considered this year, other options have their own price tags. One possibility is an increase in the gas tax used for transportation funding, though that would have to be implemented by either the state or county. Another possibility is converting the South Davis Metro Fire Agency into its own taxing district, which would allow it to implement taxes and remove some of the financial burden from Centerville. That decision, however, is also not in Centerville’s hands.

A third option, and one that city officials would have some authority over, is the continuation of the city’s RAP tax. The current tax, which expires in April 2016, has mostly been directed to the Davis Center for the Performing Arts. Thacker recommended that the council put the tax on the November 2015 ballot, with the new round going toward park improvements.

A fourth option, also in the city’s control, would involve cutting into current non-critical services.

“That would have to be determined by the city council,” said Thacker.

This year, however, the city has enough to cover the budget without any cuts or increases. Thacker refers to those expenses as the “base” budget in his summary, and includes essential needs for various city departments and long-term obligations such as water revenue bonds.

The city’s UTOPIA debt obligation also remains an issue, with $444,976 due in FY 2015. The city plans to use $160,000 of freed up debt service fund, reimbursement from the RDA for Freedom Hills Park construction, and $115,000 from the general fund to pay the debt.

Once those needs are met, the city expects to have $290,120 for any additional expenditures. Those will likely include a small increase in the street maintenance budget, a new police officer position for the Centerville PD, and a contingency fund of $35,000 for unanticipated expenses.

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