City considers new budget with heavy road program

Oct. 20, 2011

A proposed 2012 Greenfield budget that calls for a 2.15 percent property tax hike, mainly to finance an aggressive road program, received preliminary Greenfield Common Council Committee of the Whole approval Tuesday .

The package will be the subject of a public hearing Nov. 15.

With a property tax rate of $7.21 per $1,000 of assessed value, 17 cents higher than 2011, the proposed budget would cost about $34 more than this year for the owner of a home assessed at $200,000 both years.

Although the new state law keeps the levy at a zero increase unless there is growth, cities can raise their levies to cover debt. That's where the proposed nearly $11 million borrowing for an aggressive road program comes in, an idea that city officials are just starting to consider.

Because interest rates are so low and contractors are willing to give buyers a break just to keep crews working, the proposal has been made to lump road spending that is scheduled to be done over the next several years and do it all in two years. Then nothing would be done until 2015, when more would be borrowed for those future projects.

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