City approves preliminary budget
New London’s mill rate to increase 34 cents
By John Faucher
New London’s Budget Committee of the Whole met on Tuesday, Oct. 20 and approved a preliminary 2016 budget.
The proposed budget factors in a 4.6 percent increase over last year’s levy of $2.69 million. The proposed 2016 levy is set at $2.81 million.
City Finance Director Judy Radke said the increase is equivalent to 34 cents per $1,000. The proposed equalized tax rate will increase to $8.65 per $,1000 over last year’s rate of $8.31.
City Administrator Kent Hager reported that the total general fund operational expenses are budgeted to increase by .69 percent, or $47,000 out of the total $6.85 million budget.
Revenues are expected to decrease by $107,000. State shared revenue will be reduced by $6,000 and highway aids by $21,000.
“The largest 2016 revenue decrease is projected to be a drop of $80,341 in tax equivalents which is largely due to depreciation in the value of utilities for their payment in lieu of taxes,” Hager said.
“With expenditures holding very steady and revenue decreasing so much, it is necessary to increase the levy to make ends meet,” Hager said.
Radke said other factors in the overall budget include increases in the city’s portion of the ambulance subsidy, insurance costs and additional costs for the 2016 presidential election.
The proposed budget includes $250,000 for capital projects.
Radke told committee members next year the closure of the $33 million dollar TIF District will have a positive effect on the city.
She also said she did not anticipate any large increase in next year’s levy.
“The increase this year will help us maintain and fund our current operations,” Radke said. “There isn’t a lot else we could do.”