Common Council will vote on budget at Tuesday’s meeting

By Ed Nadolski

Editor in Chief

City of Burlington property owners will pay more for the municipal portion of their tax bills next year under the $8.6 million budget that is headed toward approval at Tuesday’s Common Council meeting.

The projected property tax rate under the proposal is 93 cents, or 9 percent higher, than the 2016 tax rate, according to city Finance Director Steve DeQuaker.

The tax levy needed to support the budget is nearly $5.9 million, which is 3.5 percent higher than 2016.

The proposed tax rate for city property owners in 2017 is $9.87 per $1,000 of property value. That rate equates to a tax increase of $167 for the average household (valued at $181,300), according to DeQuaker.

The actual increase in local tax bills will be less, according to DeQuaker, because the city’s increase will be moderated by decreases in other areas, namely the Burlington Area School District. He said it appeared the total tax bill for city residents will be up about 59 cents per $1,000 when all taxing districts are factored in.

“Until the financial picture improves, we’re just going to try to be as conservative as we can,” City Administrator Carina Walters said.


Council will vote on plan

The proposed budget and tax levy will be considered by the Common Council in meetings that begin at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the council chambers in the city police station at 224 E. Jefferson St.

The budget proposal was subject of a public hearing at the Nov. 21 Common Council meeting, but garnered no public comment.

The two major forces that play into the proposed tax increase are a significant hike in the cost of health insurance for employees and debt costs that nearly doubled mainly due to the borrowing needed to construct the new Burlington Community Aquatic Center, DeQuaker said.

See the Nov. 30 print edition of the Burlington Standard Press for the full story.