We Can Always Count on New Hope

January 4, 2015 at 1:32 pm Leave a comment


By Andrew Richter

New Hope is either the gift that keeps on giving or the nightmare that won’t end;

The New Hope City Council approved the 2015 city of New Hope budget and tax levy on December 8. The 2015 general fund budget is $12,066,631, which is an increase of $607,739 compared to 2014. The overall tax levy will increase by 3.95 percent in 2015. Due to increasing home values in New Hope, the average New Hope homeowner will actually pay 4 percent less in property taxes in 2015 compared to 2014.

What difference does that make? You increase spending regardless of property values! Why don’t you ever cut government?

Two major increases in the budget are about $350,000 for equipment replacement and $277,500 for increased employee costs. The city does not generally issue bonds for vehicle and equipment replacement. The additional $350,000 will increase the amount the city sets aside from 25 to 50 percent of anticipated general fund equipment replacement costs (100 percent of operational costs are budgeted). The amount budgeted for general fund equipment replacement has been reduced in recent years due to the loss of Local Government Aid. The increased employee costs include increases for wages and benefits, a 2 percent cost of living adjustment, additional IT resources, a new crime prevention/crime analyst civilian position in the Police Department, and a storm water position in the Public Works Department funded through the storm water fund.

So you negotiate employee contracts you can’t pay for, add a police position, add IT stuff, and add a storm water position and then dump the costs on the residents. Nice planning!

Police and fire operations and redevelopment will continue to be top priorities in 2015. The kiddie pool at New Hopeʹs outdoor pool will be updated, and a facility space needs study for the Police Department and City Hall will continue. Infrastructure and streetscape improvements will be made in the City Center area, an ambitious 2015 street project will be undertaken, and work will continue on the Joint Water Commissionʹs emergency water supply.                                  

Yeah, we need that streetscaping!

Look for two more years of more taxes and no spending cuts with this majority.

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Entry filed under: City Government, New Hope, Taxation. Tags: , , .

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