City approves 2.2% increase in tax levy

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The Benson City Council approved a 2.2 percent property tax increase Monday night. It calls for $1,348,020 in taxes for 2015 compared to $1,321,981 this year, an increase of $26,039.
The city’s total revenues are expected to increase $78,105 to $3,623,892. Expenditures are increasing $134,909 over 2014 to $3,630,642. Whereas the city had budgeted for a surplus of just over $50,000 last year, it is budgeting for a $6,750 deficit this coming year.
One of the reasons the city is looking at a deficit is that it included a $3,500 payment out of the Tourism Board funds for the Pioneerland Band Festival.
City property owners also will be paying $75,705 in taxes to pay down the general obligations bonds approved by voters to pay for the Benson outdoor swimming pool renovation. That is an increase of $4,809 over last year.
State tax law allows the cities to tax specifically for certain operations including police department wage and benefit costs and library operations. The levy includes $587,000 for the police department, down $26,260 from the 2014 taxes. It includes $109,710 for the library, which is an increase of $2,910.

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