Council approves 2020 general fund budget, tax levy

The proposed Farmington 2020 General Fund budget and tax levy includes increases in human resources and benefit costs for four union contracts and the non-union employee group. There is also projected funding for one new city position that will be a new assistant police chief.

2020 city budget plans to add new assistant police chief

The Farmington City Council approved the preliminary 2020 general fund budget that will result in no increase for the 2020 net tax levy on property tax statements mailed in November.

Farmington City Finance Director Teah Malecha reported on the budget and levy during the Tuesday, Sept. 3, regular council meeting at city hall. She explained how the council discussed at length the 2020 General Fund Budget and preliminary tax levy during the June, July and August work sessions.

The 2020 budget calls for increases in human resources and benefit costs within four union contracts and the non-union employee group. There are plans to hire a new assistant police chief next year.

The general fund levy for the 2019 budget was $7,583,305, and that is compared to the 2020 proposed general fund levy of $7,990,378. This is an increase of 5.37 percent, Malecha said.

That increase is offset by a decrease in the city’s debt tax levy from the 2019 budget of $3,212,460 to 2020's $2,805,387 - a projected decrease of 12.67 percent.

There is projected to be a 6.47 increase in city revenues from the 2019 budget's $3,199,486 to 2020's $3,406,372.

Revenue items to note from the draft 2020 city budget will be building permits and plumbing and heating permit revenues projected to increase by $75,100. The 2020 budget accounts for recent approvals of three new plats.

The Local Government Aid received from the state will increase by $13,649 to $328,374 in 2020. This increase will go into the transfers budget, specifically funding trail maintenance. 

The expenditures in 2019 came in at $13,007,794 compared to the 2020 proposed expenditures of $13,637,563. This shows a 4.84 percent increase in expenditures.

Malecha said the net tax levy from 2019 to 2020 will not increase.

The preliminary 2020 proposed budget net tax levy is $10,795,765.

“The proposed tax levy of zero percent is less than the amount to fund ongoing equipment, vehicles, streets and building maintenance needs,” Malecha said.

The 2020 budget accounts for a full year of the new community development specialist. The budget also plans for the hiring of a new deputy fire chief position. There will also be the addition of two building maintenance positions that will replace the contracted cleaning service.

Funding to support a deputy police chief will begin July 1, 2020.

The estimated market value of the average residential home in Farmington increased 6.55 percent from $253,265 to $296,847 in 2020. The increase is lower than the increase of 8.31 percent from 2018 to 2019.

After a public hearing in December, the City Council will formally adopt the 2020 general fund budget and tax levy.

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