JAMESTOWN – The Jamestown City Council will vote Monday night on a $35 million 2017 city budget that will likely have a major deficit.
Council members have spent the past several weeks reviewing Mayo Sam Teresi’s proposed spending plan, which contains $70,000 less in spending compared to the current year’s budget. But despite the slight decrease, it also contains an $878,736 deficit. That’s mainly due to a lack of revenue options, combined with fixed labor and benefit costs that can’t be reduced or eliminated.
The mayor’s proposed budget contains a .96 percent increase in the tax levy, which brings the city up to its constitutional taxing limit of $15,844,270. That equates to a tax rate increase for property owners of .76 percent – or $0.18 per thousand assessed value. Residents are currently paying a tax rate of about $23.59 per thousand.
And despite not being 1 percent, the property tax levy increase is still high enough to exceed the state tax cap rule, which is why the city council approved a tax cap override during its October voting session.
On Nov. 14 the city council held a public hearing on the budget, with three residents appearing and voicing their concern. Also on Nov. 14, the city council’s finance committee announced they have been able to identify $53,000 in adjustments to the budget – but that falls well short of what is needed to close the projected $878,000 deficit.
Final details of the savings, along with any additional adjustments, will be announced tonight during the budget work session.
The city council will hold one last round of budget deliberations at 6:o0 p.m. Monday night in the Mayor’s conference Room on the fourth floor of city hall. The council will then meet to act on the budget during its monthly voting session at 7:30 p.m. Both meetings are open to the public.