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home : most recent : property tax October 17, 2017

10/12/2017 11:51:00 AM
Bloomington City Council lends its votes to dispatch center's tax request
City council approves 2018 budget
Money to incentivize developers to help expand the city’s affordable housing stock, employee raises and a city investment in early childhood education are some of the line items that make up the city’s $83.5 million 2018 budget.

"This is the longest piece of legislation that we work on every year,” City Controller Jeff Underwood said.

On Wednesday, Bloomington City Council members approved the city’s civil budget, which does not include the City of Bloomington Utilities or Bloomington Transit budgets. The $83.5 million budget is around a 5.87 percent increase over this year’s city budget.

The overall General Fund budget request is $42.7 million, an increase of around $3.5 million or 9.15 percent. Additionally, the city is estimating around $5.2 million in public safety local income tax revenue.

The budget, which does not include the City of Bloomington Utilities or Bloomington Transit, represents a 5.87 percent increase, around $4.6 million, over this year’s budget.

Included as part of the budget are 2 percent pay raises for the non-union city employees and elected officials. Firefighters and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees will also receive a 2 percent pay increase. Police officers will receive a 1.75 percent increase.

Additionally, starting next year, all regular full-time and  part-time employees will be paid no less than $15 per hour and the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department has also requested pay rate increases for its seasonal and temporary employees.

Other budget highlights include two new Bloomington Police Department positions, authorization to invest up to $1 million from the Housing Development Fund for affordable housing projects in Bloomington, the addition of a director of community engagement position in the mayor's office and a proposal to invest $100,000 to support quality child care for lower-income families.

Ernest Rollins, Herald-Times

The city of Bloomington has decided to cast its 58 votes on the Monroe County Income Tax Council in favor of allocating more public safety tax dollars to central dispatch and none to the township fire departments next year.

The Monroe County Income Tax Council, made up of representatives from the fiscal bodies of Bloomington, Ellettsville, Stinesville and the county, decides how the revenue generated from the 0.25 percent public safety local income tax adopted in 2016 is spent throughout the county.

Each body has a certain number of votes out of 100 on the income tax council. The Bloomington City Council has a simple majority of those votes. 

The city council’s vote on Wednesday night follows the recommendation from a special public safety local income tax committee charged with considering the dispatch center’s budget, requests from township fire departments and governmental entities’ needs as it considers how to allocate public safety local income tax dollars.

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