CENTERVILLE—More money is going to Centerville’s roads this coming fiscal year.
Despite protests from residents, the Centerville City Council unanimously approved a 40 percent increase in the portion of property taxes received by the city earlier this month. That money, which is expected to add up to an estimated $395,592 when residents pay their property taxes later this year, will go toward road and sidewalk repair, more money for the police department, and to replenish the city’s general fund.
“Most of the transportation money will go for street maintenance, but some will be for sidewalk repairs,” said Centerville City Manager Steve Thacker. “(The total amount of money in the transportation budget) is double what we were spending just a few years ago.”
The increase of $265,592 has already been earmarked for the transportation fund, bringing the total of that fund up to approximately $1.4 million.
“It’s not even enough (to maintain the quality of our streets) but it would be close,” said Thacker in a previous discussion with the Clipper.
Another $100,000 of the increase would go towards replenishing the city’s general fund reserve, which has gone down over the last few years.
“We’ve been drawing on it to balance the budget in previous years,” said Thacker. “It was getting down to the minimum reserve required by state law.”
The final $30,000 will go toward the city’s police department for salaries.
“It’s necessary in order to remain competitive,” Thacker said.
At the public hearing, 14 residents spoke on the issue. Though Thacker said that one supported the increase because the money was going for roads, 13 residents spoke against it.
“They either asked them not to do it or to lower the amount,” said Thacker.
Before the hike, the city received 8 percent of the property tax residents pay out each year. Last year, Thacker said that the city received an estimated $988,979 in property taxes from residents. With the increase, he said that the city is expected to receive an estimated total of $1,384,571.
According to Thacker, this will be the first property tax increase initiated by the city since 1992.
“An advance notice was sent out to residents in July,” he said. “(The increase) will be finalized on the bill due to the county at the end of November.”