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City holds budget steady

Staff writer

Marion residents will not see an increase in the mill levy for city government under the $6.3 million 2013 budget approved Monday by city council.

“There are enough tax increases from other sources that we held the line on the budget this year,” City Administrator Doug Kjellin said.

The combined levy for general fund, debt service, and library will remain 63.898. That is about $570 of taxes on an $85,000 residence. Taxable property value fell less than 1 percent from the previous year.

“We lost about $77 in assessed valuation per mill from 2012,” Kjellin said.

The 2013 budget authorizes expenditures of $6,333,275, an increase of $192,142 over 2012.

The increase is a result of budgeting $438,319 for loan payments for two buildings at the industrial park that are under lease-purchase agreements with Cardie Oil and Arlie’s Paint, Body & Glass.

“We have two lease-purchases that have balloon payments in 2013, and to cover our bases we plan budget authority to pay those off,” Kjellin said. “We have the option of refinancing or paying them off.”

Putting aside the line item for the balloon payments, the budget for all other city expenditures is slightly leaner in 2013.

“We took $133,500 out of eight departments,” Kjellin said. “I think we have 750 line items in our department budgets alone. We tried to be as responsible as we can to the citizens and taxpayers.”

Revenue from owning electric, water, wastewater, and refuse utilities is a boon at budget time, Kjellin said.

“I feel very fortunate we have those. Were we to drop any of those, that would be a tax increase in the number of mills needed,” Kjellin said.

Utility revenue will subsidize the budget by $587,000.

The sole comment in the public hearing held prior to approving the budget came from Planning Commission member Ruth Herbel, who asked about the amount of the commission’s budget. Kjellin said it was $6,950.

Last modified Aug. 9, 2012

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