Property tax upswing aids town budget
The Truckee town council approved a $27.6 million budget on Thursday, allocating over $9 million to road, bike lane, trail and drainage projects. Despite state takeaways that may total $600,000 over the next two years, a continued uptick in property taxes has left the town with the ability to move ahead with its priorities, said Town Manager Steve Wright. But the state budget raids will have their effects. Requests for a replacement front-loading tractor, the $140,000 Prosser Dam bike trail and $50,000 for Chamber of Commerce marketing have either gotten the ax or been deferred. The chamber will receive just more than $14,000 in funding for its downtown visitors center. Besides these selective cuts, the town is moving ahead with capital projects, buoyed by a projected 10 percent climb in property tax revenue.”Overall this is a tighter year than we’ve had in the past,” Wright said. “But we’re still financially healthy because of decisions the council has made in the past.”Previous councils budgeted for possible state takeaways, said Wright. An initiative that will stop the state from taking revenue away from local governments has qualified for the November ballot and would be retroactive if passed, guaranteeing that the town does not lose any of the $600,000 that will go to the state.The current budget also reorganizes the town’s budget reserves, consolidating them into two or three funds – a policy that will reflect better on the town’s credit rating.Tahoe Donner utility studyThe town council indicated that Tahoe Donner’s special service funding may be used to pay for a $135,000 study on burying utilities in the sprawling subdivision, but only if a poll by the association’s members shows that they support the proposal.The council continued the public hearing on the special service funds (TSSA) to their June 17 meeting, but directed staff to make the funds eligible for the study dependent on the outcome of polling. Tahoe Donner residents spoke both for and against the allocation of funding at the council meeting.