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Montevideo levy will decrease by 1.19 percent

MONTEVIDEO -- The city of Montevideo is proposing a 2009 tax levy that decreases 1.19 percent from 2008.

During Tuesday's council meeting, the Montevideo City Council approved a 2009 levy worth $1,537,267 and a budget worth $12,188,415. The budget is an $116,585 decrease from 2008.

City Manager Steve Jones said the city won't encounter any new costs to the budget for 2009, but it will face increases in health care and the salaries of city staff.

"It's been a fairly unextraordinary year," Jones said Thursday. "We had to really watch what we did this year."

Jones said there were no plans to add or cut employment nor were any services added in the 2009 budget.

"Nothing ever gets cheaper," Jones said. Montevideo hasn't added services for the last few years, he said, and won't be in 2009 with the state's new tax levy limit of 3.9 percent.

Jones said the only city department receiving more than a "cost-of-living increase" in 2009 was the city library, which requested an extra $10,000 earlier this year.

The City Council was not surprised by the 2009 budget Tuesday, Jones said, because they had already gone through it line by line with the city department heads in previous meetings.

"(The council members) are very well-versed and by the time we get to this meeting, it is very anticlimactic," Jones said.

Jones said he doesn't anticipate any major cuts to the budget before the council's final adoption of it in December.

The council also during Tuesday's meeting scheduled a Truth-in-Taxation hearing. Jones said the meeting is scheduled for Dec. 1 but doubts it will be held. Jones said the city hasn't been required to hold a Truth-in-Taxation hearing for the past few years because the tax levy hasn't eclipsed the state's threshold for requiring a public hearing.

Jones said the city has held them in past years, but usually nobody attended.