No millage increases expected with unveiling of Chelsea draft budget, but there could be utility rate hikes
Chelsea residents won’t be seeing a millage increase this year, but they might see increases in their water and sewer bills if the City Council approves a proposed $3.9 million operating budget next month.
At a work session Tuesday night on the proposed fiscal year 2012-2013 city budget, City Manager John Hanifan called the draft budget “a modest, hold-the-line budget.”
There are no proposed electric rate increases planned by staff in this budget. However, there are proposals for an 18 percent increase in sewer rates and a 3 percent increase in water rates, “which are consistent with a three-year rate study” commissioned by the city, Hanifan said.
The proposed wastewater (sewer) commodity rate is $6.64 per 1,000 gallons with a monthly service charge of $18.60 for a 1-inch meter. The proposed water rates show a commodity rate of $6.31 per 1,000 gallons, while a 1-inch meter would have a $7.64 monthly service charge.
Residents can determine what their possible new water and sewer charges would be by taking the base monthly charge, based on a resident’s meter size, plus the commodity rate times the number of gallons they use.
“The good news is overall, taxable value has remained consistent,” Hanifan said.
He said real property tax estimates are projected at about $2.253 million, down about $5,000 from last year.
Personal property tax estimates show a $500 increase over last year and are projected at about $339,000, while state-shared revenue is projected at about $350,000, an increase of about $67,000 over last year.
The city plans to begin a three-year process to reassess all city property and is budgeting $18,000 per year, for the next three years, for these professional services. It’s expected that the commercial and industrial assessments will take place this summer, while residential properties will be split over two years beginning next summer, said Kim Garland, director of administrative services.
If there are any changes in residential property values, they would not be reflected in a homeowner’s tax bill until the July 1, 2013, tax bills, she said.
Staff will make a full budget presentation, and there will be a public hearing at the next regular City Council meeting on May 8. The draft budget documents are expected to be on the city's website by April 30.