HUBBARD City faces changes in tax allocations

Council will discuss the budget allocation issues next week.
HUBBARD -- City officials are planning for potential changes in income tax allocation percentages to various city funds.
John Darko, council president, said city projects such as curb and sidewalk upgrades, work at the service center, work at Maple Grove Cemetery and the new police station will be beneficial to the city, but the city had to acquire a bond to pay for some of it.
Now, officials say income tax allocation restructuring is needed to pay off the bond.
Annual payments
The bond amount is $5.1 million for 12 years. The city must make annual payments of $525,000 toward the bond debt.
City Auditor Michael C. Villano compiled some preliminary figures for a restructuring of allocations of income tax to the various city funds. City officials will discuss those figures at a workshop at 7 p.m. Sept. 28.
Currently, Darko said, 65 percent of income tax revenue goes to the general fund, 5 percent goes to capital improvements, 4 percent goes to parks and recreation and 26 percent goes to streets.
The proposed revisions would allocate 47 percent to the general fund, 5 percent to capital improvements, 2 percent to parks and recreation, and 18 percent to streets. The remaining 28 percent would go toward the bond debt.
Darko said the reduction in allocation to some funds would not necessarily result in a lower dollar amount to those funds, however.
More tax revenue
He said the half-percent income tax increase has generated more tax revenue, so a lower percentage for each fund will result in virtually the same dollar amount.
"There is no other way to do this other than different changes in the percentages, but this is revenue neutral; no one is going to be hurt much," he said. "The changes are not drastic."
In other business, council approved compensation adjustments for two employees. Mayor Arthur U. Magee stressed to council that the increases were pay adjustments and not raises.
Paul Collins, superintendent of streets, will move from $16.84 per hour to $19.20 per hour. Laurie Brown, the mayor's secretary, will move from $10.35 per hour to $14.16 per hour.
Magee said the workload in mayor's court has steadily increased, justifying the pay adjustment for Brown, who has never had a pay increase. The mayor said pay for Brown's position was reduced just before she was hired and, even with the pay adjustment, she will still make less than the person who replaces her when she is off.
Magee said the city receives consistent calls and letters attesting to the good work of the street department. Touting the good work of Collins to council, the mayor said, after the pay adjustment, Collins will still be paid less than the men working under him.

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