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By Forrest Hershberger
Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

City Keeps Mill Levy Unchanged

 

August 31, 2018



The Sidney City Council held a public hearing Tuesday on the proposed 2018-2019 city budget.

The City is facing cuts because of reductions in sales tax revenue and valuations. According to the budget summary presented to council, the 2017-2018 property tax request was $2,695,848.57 with a mill levy of .531496. For 2018-2019, the proposed mill levy is .531496.

The mill levy has increased from 2013-2014 at .412120 to the proposed 2018-2019 .531496. The state mill levy limit at 45 cents per $100 of value (excludes intergovernmental agreements), 50 cents per $100 of value (includes intergovernmental agreements) plus mills approved for any debt, according to city council documents.

City Finance Director David Scott also shows the 1 cent sales tax adopted in 1980 has generated about $1.4 million in 2006-2007, a high of a little more than $2 million in 2014-2015 and projected at almost $1.7 million for 2018-2019.

The ½ cent sales tax adopted in 1988 for community and economic development, and LB840 adopted by voters in 1997 for job creation, reached a high of $732,312 in 2014-2015 and projected at $532,500 for 2018-2019. The LB840 revenue is consistently $300,000 annually.

City Finance Director David Scott said the impact of keeping the mill levy the same will be felt across the city.

“We’re feeling it all across the the board, and we’re spreading it all across the board” he said.

City Manager Ed Sadler said the impact is not as great as first expected. The reduction in revenue is close to 10 percent compared to an anticipated 15 percent. In 2016-2017, the actual disbursements and transfers for the City amounted to $24,368,930 for the 2017-2018 year, that amount increased to $29,413,178. The City is proposing almost $1 million less for 2018-2019 at $28,513,584. According to a pie chart presented by Scott, the largest source of revenue for the 2018-2019 year is electricity at 35 percent of the budgeted revenue, followed by the General Fund. Electricity revenue is anticipated at about $9.7 million for the coming fiscal year. Total revenue is proposed at $27,609,772.

“This is the proposed budget,” Sadler said to the council. “I’m not recommending you make changes.”

Related to the budget discussion, the council approved funding the airport at $22,000 less than requested. The Airport Authority requested $156,805.06 at .029121 mills for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. The Authority requested an increase to $165,441.89 with a mill levy of .035874 for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. In Finance Director Scott’s memo to the council, he said to keep the mill levy the same as 2017-2018, the dollar amount would be $143,398.06, $22,043.83 less than requested.

“I don’t see any reason why the hard times don’t reach all the departments,” Sadler said, noting that the airport is under the City’s authority.

 

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