Dayton’s 2013 tax levy remains flat: Median valued homes may see slight decrease in city property taxes
Dayton’s total dollar tax levy will remain the same in 2013 as it was in 2012. Depending on market value, this means Dayton property owners with a median valued home may find themselves with an estimated $72 decrease in property taxes.
Dayton City Council approved a $3,018,245 tax levy for 2013, which is identical to the 2012 levy. Market values on a median valued home are projected to decrease by about 7 percent. Based on how much a homeowner’s property value decreases compared to their neighbors, property owners many property owners will see a decrease in the city portion of their property taxes. However, some may see an increase and there’s a chance that some industrial properties will experience an increase too. The extent of the tax increase and decrease will be determined once market values are determined. Some property owners’ city property taxes may stay the same. However, according to their projected budget revenues, the city expects to collect an additional $138,000 in property taxes.
As required by state law, Dayton City Council approved a preliminary levy in September, which became the maximum amount the city could levy. Staff and council continued to meet to finalize a 2013 budget.
After months of budget presentations and discussion, the city council approved the final budget and levy following the state-required Truth in Taxation hearing Dec. 11.
The council outlined the following directives for their 2013 budget:
• Level off the amount of property taxes paid in 2013 so that there are fewer highs and lows.
• Zero increase for 2013. The council’s desire was to keep the 2013 levy the same as 2013 with the goal of no increase in payable 2013 property taxes for a median-valued home.
• Levy for debt service for the 2007/2006A bonds for the next three years to lessen debt service impact in future years. This amounts to $204,118 levied in 2013.
• Set aside funds for improvements to the current public works building. The council approved $232,413 for this.
• Continue to fund the Pavement Management Plan. The council approved $200,000 for the plan in 2013.
• Restore wage cuts from 2011 and 2012 that resulted from mandated furloughs and as negotiated with all three unions.
• Comply with approved bargaining unit contracts and all non-union staff. The council approved a 1.5 percent cost of living adjustment increase and an additional $15 per month health increase beginning Jan. 1, 2013. There were no cost of living increases in 2010 or 2011.
• Begin to restore public works staffing from earlier staffing reductions by increasing one maintenance worker’s hours from 31 hours a week to 35.
• Maintain, to the extent possible, bare bones operational budgets, focusing on continuing basic services and examining possible alternative revenue sources.
The 2013 budget projects $2,713,948 in revenue. Overall revenues are anticipated to increase by $270,975 with $138,680 of the increase due to increased property tax collections. Permits are expected to increase by less than $32,000.
Other areas with modest projected increases include recycling grant revenue and court fines.
The general fund is the city’s largest fund, pays for the majority of its daily operations but excludes debt service. The 2013 general fund budget is $2,713,948. This reflects an increase of about $270,975 compared to 2012. The increase is due primarily to the funds set aside for public works improvements such as useable bathroom facilities and adequate heat. The rest of the increase is attributed to restoration of furloughed salaries, property and liability insurance increases, organization membership dues increases and other operational expense increases.
There is a decrease of $138,680 in debt service, which is set at $553,209 for 2013. The 2006B equipment certificates have been paid in full and are no longer a city debt. However, the old debt for equipment is paid and new debt comes on line with the 2012A equipment certificates.
Debt service on the 2006 and 2007A bonds is not required in 2013 but the council decided to approve a $204,118 levy to offset the increasing debt service in future years, thereby leveling the debt service to manageable levels. It is their hope that this will allow more time for future development to add to the tax base.