City of Warren residents have some options with regard to the city budget.
They could opt to go without the city pool, a summer parks program, or perhaps, leaf collection.
So far, the alternative to cuts is the 5-mill tax increase City Manager Nancy Freenock expects to propose to City Council at Monday's meeting.
Residents who would like to have input in the budget process may attend Monday's City Council meeting or contact a council member. The regular meeting will begin at 5 p.m. with a public budget work session to follow. "We're looking at a tax increase," Freenock said. "I would urge anybody who has an interest attend."
City officials would like to know what services residents are most and least willing to give up to help set the budget.
The city's tax rate had been steady for years until a one-mill increase for 2012. "The line has been held on taxes here for quite a few years with the exception of last year," Freenock said.
The rate in 2011 was 15.8 mills. The 2012 rate is 16.8 mills - $16.80 per $1,000 of assessed value. Assessed value is calculated as 50 percent of market value.
A resident whose property is worth $100,000 pays $16.80 per $1,000 on $50,000 - $840.
A five-mill increase would represent a change of just under 30 percent. The owner of the hypothetical property used in the example above would owe $1,090 in 2013 if the five-mill increase was approved.
"We're aware that this may cause a hardship," Freenock said. "There is nothing left to cut."
The city's collective bargaining agreement sets minimum staffing levels as well as pay. Bills - including electricity, health insurance, and workers compensation - are going up.
The workers compensation bill may increase by more than 100 percent. In 2012, the city paid $171,000. The provider is asking an additional $189,000 for 2013, Freenock said.
The anticipated revenues are $6,675,918 while projected expenditures are $7,744,251. Those figures do not include capital improvement spending, she said.
The city has tapped into its fund balance in previous years to avoid tax increases. That option is no longer available, Freenock said.