• By Lisa Brody

Birmingham commissioners okay new budget

Birmingham city commissioners unanimously approved the city's $36.5 million fiscal year 2018-2019 budget at their meeting on Thursday, May 24, which includes a small decrease in the city's millage rate, from 14.6739 mills in fiscal year 2017-2018 to 14.5142 mills for the upcoming fiscal year, which runs from July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019. The difference is due to an increase in taxable value of properties in the city, finance director Mark Gerber explained in a memo. Due to the increase in taxable value and results of the Headlee Tax Limitation Act, “Overall, the revised millage rate is .0269 mills less than what was proposed in the recommended budget and .1597 mills less than the 2017-2018 total levy,” Gerber wrote. Breaking the millage down, the city's operating levy is 11.2099 mills; the Baldwin Library levy, which was rolled back due to Headlee, is 1.3891 mills; the refuse levy is 0.8036 mills; and the debt levy is 1.1116 mills, for a total of 14.5142 mills per homeowner. A millage rate is the amount per $1,000 of property used to calculate local property taxes, and is based on half the homeowner's assessed value. Of the $36.5 million anticipated general fund revenues for the upcoming fiscal year, the city expects to take in $25 million in property taxes; $3.4 million in charges for services; $3.2 million in permits and fees; and $2.1 million in intergovernmental revenue. Expenditures for fiscal year 2018-2019 are budgeted at $13.7 million for public safety; $6 million for general government services; $5 million for engineering and public services; and $3.4 million in community development. Commissioners voted 7-0 to accept the budget.

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