Elkhorn approves 2018 budget with tax-rate decrease

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Jonah Beleckis
Tuesday, November 21, 2017

ELKHORN—The Elkhorn City Council on Monday night approved its 2018 budget, which features an 8.77 percent increase in the tax levy but a 2.46 percent decrease in its tax rate.

The final budget increased about $5.69 million from the preliminary version unveiled Oct. 16 because the city decided to pursue construction of its new Department of Public Works maintenance facility in 2018, City Administrator Sam Tapson said in an email.

The final approved budget is for $42.47 million, which is a slight increase from last year.

Tapson has said the increase in borrowing for 2018 is to improve city infrastructure, including the new public works garage. The borrowing accounts for most of the 8.77 percent increase in the tax levy for 2018.

The final tax levy decreased about 1 percent from the preliminary figure because there was a decrease in debt service expenses associated with 2008 bonds that were refinanced in 2017, Tapson said.

The tax rate can still go down while the tax levy increases, in part because the city closed a tax incremental finance district this spring, Tapson has said. Money that flowed into the TIF district was moved into city coffers.

The approved 2018 tax rate for the city portion of Elkhorn residents' taxes will be $7.32 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. This rate is coming down from 2017's $7.50.

The council unanimously approved the budget without any discussion Monday. The city had a public hearing with further discussion at a Committee of the Whole meeting on Nov. 13.

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