City budget: Going once, going twice…River Falls expects to approve and pass its 2013 operating budget at the Nov. 27 City Council meeting, according to City Administrator Scot Simpson’s words at the Nov. 13 City Council meeting.
By: Debbie Griffin, River Falls Journal
River Falls expects to approve and pass its 2013 operating budget at the Nov. 27 City Council meeting, according to City Administrator Scot Simpson’s words at the Nov. 13 City Council meeting.
The budget for 2013 includes a 2.7% tax-levy increase to generate the $41,347,346 required to run the city.
Final, assessed values are not yet available since the city must wait for some information to come from other agencies, such as the counties and state.
Initial estimates show that the proposed levy hike will increase the city portion of property taxes by $7 annually for a $150,000 home and by $10 annually for a $200,000 home.
The city’s portion of an average $3,000 property-tax bill is about $600.
Major expenses for the year include River Falls’ portion of the Radio Road interchange -- about $4.4 million of the project’s estimated $10 million cost.
Employee health insurance will also cost 15% more than last year, about $240,000 more. The city budgeted $435,000 for the rehabilitation of pavement on S. Main Street and about $180,000 to extend the White Pathway around Lake George.
Revenue sources for the city include three kinds of taxes -- property, incremental districts and “other;” intergovernmental; regulation and compliance; public charges for services; special assessments; miscellaneous revenues; investment income; and “other financing.”
Areas of expense include general government; public safety; public works; health and human services; culture, recreation and education; conservation and development; other public service; capital projects; debt service; and “other financing uses.”
Simpson commented at the meeting that River Falls’ levy has come in under the state-imposed limits for the past four years. He said it’s never a concern since River Falls “doesn’t come close” to the limit. He said the city budget follows its major plans -- five-year fiscal, work, capital improvements -- and that the aim is still for a ‘no-drama’ budget with zero surprises.
Citizens can look at the budget summary and accompanying graphics online at the city’s website -- www.rfcity.org
-- or via hard copy at City Hall, 222 Lewis St. and the public library, 140 Union St.