The Yuma City Council discussed the city’s preliminary budget tonight before they make a final decision Wednesday.
The big discussion at Tuesday’s City Council work session was about the proposed property tax increase that is part of the City’s budget plan. Pat Wicks the finance director for the city of Yuma says the state allows for 2% increase on property tax each year.
Wicks says, “state law includes a two percent increase each year. A two percent allowable increase. Without the two percent increase there would be no overall increase in property tax for a year.”
The city has raised property tax in recent years but not by two percent. Wicks says, “the city has adopted a allowable levy each year for years but it’s probably been three or for years since they did that.”
If approved at Wednesday’s city council meeting, the total property tax levy would be about $12 million compared to fiscal year 2015 which was only $9 million. The property tax is to help fund local government workers and meet other needs with the budget. “It’s going to give the city some additional resources to help boost salaries for police officers and to meet other needs in the budget.”
Mayor Douglas Nicholls says we don’t need a two percent increase every year but says we do need the increase in property tax to fund local law enforcement to keep residents safe. Deputy Mayor William Craft and council member Gary Knight agree saying businesses are not going to want to move here if it isn’t safe.
On the other hand council members Gary Wright Jacob Miller, Mike Shelton and Edward Thomas spoke out against the property tax increase saying businesses won’t want to move here if the tax is high.
Some council members asked to push back the decision until the Arizona state budget is
The final decision for the budget will be decided Wednesday at 6:00 pm in the city council chambers.