Boyne City Commissioners met last week for a budget work session which lasted nearly eight hours, during which time numerous issues pertaining to the 2014-2015 Boyne City budget were discussed.
Boyne City Manager Michael Cain and commissioners opened the meeting discussing city equipment maintenance, various street and sewer projects that have taken advantage of grant moneys over the last year, and future projects like tentative plans to improve portions of Court Street, and a proposed riverfront property purchase. Also discussed was a potential $400,000 grant through the Safe Routes to School project, which helps municipalities create and maintain secure pedestrian routes for school children.
“We’re still in a very good place,” Cain said. “If things go as projected we’re looking to increase the fund balance this year—a good chunk of that is because we’re putting off the facility (city hall, police department, fire, EMS, etc.) until this coming fiscal year.”
City officials discussed the property tax rate Board of Review. As of the budget work session, which was held on Tuesday March 18, there had only been 15 appointments made with the board. According to city officials, that number is much lower than in years past.
“I’ve seen years of 130-150 petitions,” said Boyne City Clerk Cindy Grice. “This speaks volumes.”
Cain said the city still faces uncertainty concerning property taxes due to several factors, including the economy in general and changes that may take place in Lansing.
The proposed budget would see the millage rate remain at 15.51.
Total projected revenues and expenditures for fiscal year 2015 are $12,391,898.
“We are looking to dip into our fund balance $65,318 … if we add in this $65,000 for Court Street and the $20,000 for Riverfront (property purchase) we would have to find savings somewhere else in the budget or that number would have to increase,” Cain said.
Revenue Funding is broken down thusly:
Charges for services – $152,500
Streets (excluding grants) – $1,429,581
State shared revenues and grants – $1,526,997
Other sources – $77,784
General Fund property taxes – $2,610,477
Motor pool – $481,950
Water/Wastewater – $1,824,402
DDA/LDFA – $1,340,399
Fire Department – $293,000
Miscellaneous – $2,654,808
(Miscellaneous consists of the following)
Interest & rentals – $13,200
Administrative service fees – $142,500
Ambulance – $749,535
Marina – $372,000
Airport – $143,400
Cemetery – $68,755
Rubbish collection – $35,100
Allocation from General Fund – $965,318
Boyne Thunder – $165,000
To give Boyne City’s millage rates, population, expenditures in perspective, numbers from some surrounding communities were included in this year’s proposed budget.
Boyne City – 3,735
Petoskey – 5,670
Charlevoix – 2,513
East Jordan – 2,351
Elk Rapids – 1,642
Boyne City – $178,260,973
Petoskey – $446,133,626
Charlevoix – $237,984,404
East Jordan – $70,909,233
Elk Rapids – $106,543,583
Total Millage Levied by Municipality 2013
Boyne City – 16.51
Petoskey – 13.8318
Charlevoix – 13.0093
East Jordan – 17.7953
Elk Rapids – 11.9
General Operating Millage Levied by Municipality 2013
Boyne City – 15.51
Petoskey – 7.6707
Charlevoix – 9.05
East Jordan – 17.7953
Elk Rapids – 7.3805
The city’s property taxes total $2,503,157.
The city’s estimated taxable value collected in 2014—which includes Industrial Facilities Tax Exemption Certificates of $11,128,600, which are taxed at 50 percent of the millage rate—is $189,847,572.
According to Cain, this figure reflects deductions for the DDA, Brownfield and LDFA tax captures. And, the taxable value will not be finalized until after the city’s March Board of Review meetings and any tax tribunal cases are resolved.
The city has $6,000 in delinquent personal property taxes, and the penalties for late payment of taxes totals $14,000.
The city expects to receive $270,000 in state sales tax revenue sharing.
Boyne City’s General Fund expenditures total $4,905,257 and include the following:
General Government – $1,857,586
Police – $673,774
Public building – $1,195,240
Transfers to other funds – $840,757
Parks & Recreation – $327,900
Housing Commission – $10,000
General government costs are broken down (all figures in parentheses are what was projected to have actually been spent last year and are included in instances where there was a substantial increase or decrease) as follows:
City Commission, including the mayor’s salary, Social Security, membership dues, and travel costs – $20,695
City planning, which includes salaries, life and medical insurance, pension, unemployment, supplies, membership dues, travel costs, training, etc. – $170,363 (The city spent $151,748 on planning in 2014; it was stated during the meeting that the planning numbers will be amended to reflect some unspecified changes.)
General services employee costs – $586,324
Elections – $2,300
Accounting/audit – $12,800
Assessment/taxes – $70,610
Legal fees – $60,000 (The city spent $35,000 on legal fees in 2014)
General Fund – $96,500 (That figure is down from $308,553 because the Boyne City Housing Commission’s $212,000 in costs were reduced to $10,000 for 2015 as the bulk of that entity is no longer included in the city’s budget)
City museum – $3,177 (Up from $1,854)
Sidewalk construction – $808,000 (up from $15,000 last year)
Contingency – $35,992