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G'view council ponders 1 percent utility bill increase

GRANDVIEW - Following the review of a five-year financial plan, the Grandview City Council is now mulling a 1 percent utility tax increase.

City Treasurer John Myers formulated the forecast and included the actual figures from 2006, as well as revenues and expenditures budgeted for 2007.

"To sustain the current level of service delivery and programs provided in our community, there will need to be an increase in revenues or a means of delivering current services at a lower cost, or a combination of increased resources at a reduced cost," Myers said. "The bottom line is we will have a declining fund balance."

Myers did however note that "the alarm isn't sounding as loud as it was two years ago," but he believes the numbers indicate a direction the council should want to turn around and stop.

Council members discussed a voter approved utility tax increase (this is the kind imposed for the private utilities), but Pam Horner said she'd rather not go through the expense of an election and instead implement a 1 percent tax increase on city utilities (water, sewer and garbage). She said she'd like to see it go through this year.

"The sooner you start doing it, the more it could build up so that when we need it, it's there," said Horner.

Early estimates indicate that if there is a nominal tax increase, it will cost about 80ยข more a month for the average homeowner.

Myers was instructed by council to determine what the increase would generate for the city, how it will impact utility bill payers, how it will impact industry and to set up a public hearing.

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