Johnstown adopts its 2018 budget

City’s $13.2 million budget includes 2 percent tax hike

JOHNSTOWN — The Common Council on Monday night adopted the city’s $13.2 million 2018 budget — carrying a 2 percent property tax hike –with little fanfare.

“I want to thank you for taking the time to look over the budget,” Mayor Vern Jackson told the council at City Hall.

The council then adopted the budget unanimously and without comment after Councilman-at-Large Craig Talarico read a resolution.

The spending plan – with its 2 percent tax increase – has virtually remained unchanged since it was released as a tentative document by Jackson on Oct. 16, The council conducted two budget workshops on the document since, on Oct. 30 and Nov. 6.

The resolution passed Monday night is still above the state’s imposed tax cap for the city. The cap is just below the current tax rate.

The property tax rate increases from $12.39 per $1,000 to $12.63. The city’s tax levy would increase from $5.49 million to $5.67 million for 2018.

Fund balance added to help balance the spending plan would be $164,443.

Other revenue used to offset the budget would increase from $6.97 million in 2017 to $7.37 million for 2018. There is no planned increase in salaries for the mayor or the five council members.

Departmental requests for 2018 translated to a $13.1 million budget, with a tax rate around the tax cap figure.

A breakdown by expenditure requests in the 2018 proposed budget follows: Common Council — $22,600; mayor — $18,800; city treasurer — $324,700; city clerk — $67,300; city assessor — $49,200; elections –$18,600; public health — $5,000; historian — $2,200; city attorney — $138,700; public works — $3.37 million; fire department — $1.85 million; police — $2.05 million; traffic control — $18,000; animal control — $48,700; program for aging –$156,300; unallocated expenditures –$299,800; debt — $228,400; employee benefits — $4.25 million; transfers — $278,100.

City residents sustained a 9 percent rate hike for 2017.

The council had previously discussed cutting a budgeted $40,000 Johnstown Public Library position to trim the spending plan further, but decided not to. The council also decided not to go after city Water Board surplus money, which is tied into water infrastructure projects.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.

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