The Jefferson City Council is proposing an increase for part of its tax levy for the next fiscal year. 

As per a state law passed last year, cities and counties must show total tax asking dollars and schedule a separate public hearing before budgets can be certified. The City of Jefferson is proposing a 3.1-percent increase for the general fund tax levy. City Administrator Mike Palmer says the money is already available through property valuation, and it accounts for a small amount of additional tax asking dollars.

“Out of a $3 million budget is, I think it came in like at $50,000 or something like that, it’s still not a lot. We would still have a shortfall even after asking for that. Because some of the state law that’s changed is also limited how much we can ask for employee benefits, which can rack up a big cost.”

The total for the proposed general fund tax levy is $12.39 per $1,000 valuation. That figure is actually a decrease of $0.09 compared to the current fiscal year. Palmer explains how the general fund tax levy will decrease even though the tax asking proposal is estimated to increase over the state’s limit of two-percent. 

“Because our overall property valuation have been going up, which is a good thing. The more valuation we have, the less we have to ask for on our tax levy.” 

Property valuations in Jefferson were $251,946,171 for the current fiscal year and rose to $278,774,398 for the next fiscal year, which starts July 1st. 

Another levy that is calculated for tax purposes is the debt service levy, which is money that was borrowed for bonds. The debt service levy is proposed to increase by $0.44 for a total of $2.71. The overall tax levy is proposed at $15.10 per $1,000 valuation. However, Palmer notes that even with additional tax asking, the City’s overall budget is still $40,000 short. He adds, more work will be done before the budget hearing happens at the end of March. The public hearing for the general fund tax levy is March 10th.