Council works to keep levy at zero increase


After earlier indicating a 5 percent property tax levy increase may be necessary, the Montgomery City Council is working on reducing that figure to zero — representing “good news” for city taxpayers.

The announcement of that effort came during the Monday, Nov. 26, regular meeting of the council.

City Administrator Steve Helget said holding the line on the levy is possible, and he has worked on that aspect following budget workshops held by the council. While he could not identify any significant numbers or areas responsible for holding the levy at ‘no increase’, the reductions would be widespread in several areas of city operations. The budget, he said, is a working document. He also commented on the 5-year financial plan approved by the council that evening.  “We are definitely on the right track with our financial condition, and the plan is working. The general fund deficit will be gone by the end of the year, and hopefully we can start working on building our reserves.”

He added that new housing starts remain stagnant, but there was no cut in Local Government Aid (LGA), which is more than $600,000 of its budget, but with uncertainty in future years, the city is working at becoming independent of the state aid.

Helget said the general fund deficit back in 2005 was in excess of $600,000, and  eliminating a shortfall by the end of this year is certainly good news.

Overall budget information is presented at the Truth In Taxation Hearing on Tuesday, Dec. 4, with final approval of budget and levy to come at the regular council meeting which is rescheduled for Thursday, Dec. 20.


The council also:

• Held a public hearing on delinquent utility and Waste Management bills, and adopted a resolution authorizing assessment of unpaid bills to be collected with 2012 property taxes.

• Renewed the rental contract with Hruby Rentals where five fire department vehicles are stored. Current rent is $525 per month. 

• Amended city code to increase EDA Board from five to seven members.

• Accepted Cynthia Navejas’ resignation from the Montgomery Ambulance Service. 

• Adopted resolution to decertify Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District 1-4 that was created to financially assist with the construction of Fred’s IGA store. The term on the district has expired and should be decertified.

•  The Monday, Dec. 3 regular meeting has been cancelled, and the Monday, Dec. 17 session is moved to December 20.

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