Washington City Hall

Washington officials held the first reading of the 2020 budget during their November meeting Thursday afternoon.

There won’t be a tax increase, according to Susie Koehler, deputy city finance officer. There could be changes made before its final vote next month, but the proposed budget is balanced, she said.

The proposed $14,715,864 budget isn’t very different from 2019’s $14.8 million spending plan. Koehler said they added a couple full-time positions, including a mechanic and a park maintenance employee.

About 63% of the anticipated revenue will come from taxes, while the majority of the anticipated expenses are departmental, with police protection costing $2.4 million and fire protection costing $1.8 million.

Accounts and finance positions and the solid waste and recycling contract are expected to cost $1.3 million, while public works and parks and public buildings will cost $1.3 million. The city has anticipated $2.9 million going toward debt service and $4.1 million towards “miscellaneous expenditures,” like pensions and healthcare plans.

If mayor and council stick to the proposed budget, it will be the first time they didn’t raise taxes in at least three years. This year’s budget had an increase of 4.5 mills for land and 0.45 mills for buildings, bringing the rates to 38.71 and 4.03, respectively. In 2018, the council raised taxes by 1.5 mills.

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