By KATHY KORENGEL
MARYSVILLE — The city council has approved a $50.8 million budget for next year that includes a 6 percent increase in the city’s property tax levy.
But the passage of Initiative 722 in the Nov. 7 general election could force the city to roll back the tax hike if I-722 stands up in court. The initiative set a 2 percent cap on property tax levy increases.
Although Seattle and other cities are challenging the initiative, Mayor David Weiser said Marysville staff is working on budget adjustments that might be needed.
"We’d have to look at a few things and tighten up our belts a bit," Weiser said.
The six percent increase was recommended by interim finance director Bob Noack, city spokesman Doug Buell said.
Noack recommended the increase based on his experience with growing communities, Buell said. Noack worked as finance officer with Lynnwood for 25 years.
Noack is a strong proponent of taking the full 6 percent property tax increase allowed by law to offset services needed to provide for additional residents, Buell said.
The current tax levy is $2.65 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, or $530 a year for a $200,000 home, Buell said. The new tax levy will be $2.80 per $1,000, Buell said, or about $560 a year for the same home.
Councilwomen NormaJean Dierck and Suzanne Smith voted against the increase.
The proposed general fund, which provides for basic services for residents, would remain at $12.8 million. About 40 percent will provide police services and 18 percent fire services.
The budget for 2001 will provide for a new motorcycle police unit, focused on traffic enforcement and education. Next year’s budget also allots $50,000 to a new traffic management program that allows residents of a neighborhood to petition the public works department about traffic issues and then work with the department to try to find solutions.
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