Monroe to hear additional details about proposed safety levy

The Monroe Fire Department christened two new fire trucks in 2016. GREG LYNCH / STAFF
The Monroe Fire Department christened two new fire trucks in 2016. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

A presentation on a proposed safety services tax levy is the main topic for tonight’s Monroe City Council meeting.

Council has heard previous presentations about the need for an additional $1.59 million in revenues to protect the area’s fastest growing community according to the U.S. Census.

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Additional information requested by council is expected to be presented by city staff at tonight’s meeting.

City Manager Bill Brock said additional police officers and firefighters will be need to be hired to respond to the projected increase in calls for service as well as providing additional space for the police department.

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In 2016, the city spent $6 million — or about 40 percent of the general fund — for safety services expenditures. This is in addition to a pair of 2.5-mill fire levies that generate about $1.05 million a year, and about $504,000 generated from the police levy.

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In March, Brock outlined several options for council to consider as dedicated ways to increase revenue for public safety costs. Those include:

  • A new property tax levy that would generate about $318,000 per mill; or a replacement levy of 5-mills that would generate about $1.59 million a year.
  • Adding an additional 0.25 percent to the city's current 1.5 percent income tax rate that would generate about $1.6 million and would grow as the city continues to develop.
  • Reducing the reciprocity or "forgiveness" of income taxes paid to another jurisdiction where a resident works by 1 percent that would generate about $1.65 million.
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Brock said council will have until July place a tax request on the November ballot.

Tonight’s meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Monroe City Building, 233 S. Main St., Monroe.

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