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Lacey City Council adopts 2017 budget with average property tax hike of $5

Although construction-generated sales tax revenue has been strong this year in Lacey — and that growth has helped the city’s 2017 budget — it still doesn’t come come close to the pre-recession housing boom as shown by the blue line on this projected image.
Although construction-generated sales tax revenue has been strong this year in Lacey — and that growth has helped the city’s 2017 budget — it still doesn’t come come close to the pre-recession housing boom as shown by the blue line on this projected image. Staff file, 2016

Calling it a budget they could be proud of, Lacey City Council on Thursday approved the city’s $122 million budget for next year, including $43 million for essential city services.

Finance Director Troy Woo said the council could be proud for several reasons. Among them: The 2017 budget funds key capital projects and will allow the city to add to its staff for the first time in years.

The city’s budget for next year is in better shape because of strong sales tax revenue growth this year — up 10 percent over 2015, Woo said after Thursday’s meeting.

Certain categories of sales tax revenue did even better. Construction-generated sales tax revenue rose 27 percent, while restaurant-generated sales tax revenue climbed 10.6 percent — a sign that the economy is in pretty good shape and that consumers are spending money.

A closer look at the 2017 budget:

▪ The $122 million budget is composed of 28 funds, including the $43 million general fund, the most visible part of the overall budget. It pays for police, parks, streets and the city’s administration.

▪ If you own a $200,000 single-family residence, it’s going to cost you about $277 a year in city property taxes, up about $5 from 2016. However, the levy rate, which includes past voter-approved bonds, is set to fall to $1.39 per $1,000 of assessed value in 2017, down from $1.43 per $1,000 in 2016. How does that work? Property values have risen 5 percent citywide. When values go up, a lower rate can generate the same amount for the city.

▪ Some of the city’s planned spending: $4.3 million for a roundabout at Hogum Bay Road and Willamette Drive; $597,000 for new city vehicles, including three police vehicles; $200,000 for converting more streetlights to energy-efficient LEDs; and $25,000 for a 50th Anniversary Mayor’s Gala, which could become a regular event to help raise money for the Lacey Veterans Services Hub.

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