A second reading and final vote for the tax rate and budget will take place on Sept. 21.
The planned tax rate is a 1.5-cent reduction from the current $0.405 tax rate and is expected to save property owners $96 annually. The city also offers a 20% homestead exemption and a senior tax freeze.
The proposed fiscal year 2021-22 budget is projected to raise $120,245,965 in revenue and spend a total of $104,645,050—a 0.4% decrease over fiscal year 2020-21’s adopted budget.
Council will also include an amendment to the budget to include a pay increase for Department of Public Safety employees, moving salaries from the 60th percentile to the 80th percentile above the national average as a means of overall retention in the department.
According to city chief financial officer Sharon Jackson, this amendment will add an additional $246,000 to the budget moving forward.
“I think from an essential services perspective, we need to be considered an employer of choice,” Councilmember Chad Patton said. “We've done an excellent job of training our folks, and having them being the best out there, and then they get recruited away, and it's a very expensive endeavor. It affects us on so many different levels.”