An update to ‘Lookout Burlington…’

Just back in from being kicked out of the Council meeting for their usual executive session. They seem to have one at every meeting, so much that it’s a rare thing to see a meeting go by without one.

Anyway, a slight update to the last post about the impending taxes…
Straight from Leopold’s office, the city has a current estimated $40 millon debt in the Fiscal Year 07 budget. (Note – the draft of the 07 budget will be available by the end of this week). Based on the current estimates (which do not include the Retirement portion), Leopold estimates it would take a 2.4% tax rate increase just to cover the shortfall, and this is with the city taking about 1/2 of the Local Option Sales Tax (or LOST, as I call it) revenue to be applied to the 07 budget.
(On a side note, Leopold’s changed the date of when LOST will take effect to July 1st, instead of January 1st for more money in the budget)

A few good comments & questions where brought up by some councilors after the presentation:

  • Councilor Bushor (Ward 1): I do understand that this estimate doesn’t include the retirement portion, but what does the 2.4% increase mean to the average homeowner? Hopes it is addressed in the draft budget.
  • Councilor Shannon (Ward 5): I cannot understand how the uncollected taxes portion of the budget got to over $1.3 Million…
    • Leopold: They are outstanding or delinquent property taxes, which make up 4-5% of the total property tax portion of the city budget (the amount also includes interest, and late fees); the amount also includes gross receipts taxes, which the decision by the Liscense Committee made a deal with the late applicants that they would grant the liscense renewal, but only if they committed to a payment plan, otherwise no liscense would be granted. This guarantees the money from the gross receipts tax.

So this is all I have on the budget so far, aside from a few handouts comparing the tax rates, and deficits from previous years. John Briggs of the Free Press was also in attendance, so there probably will also be coverage there too.

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