Why is the tax rate increase needed?

Between 2008 and 2016, the City operated with considerably reduced revenues stemming from the economic downturn. In 2016, the City finally recovered to the same annual revenue amount it received in 2007. During those years, inflation increased an average of 2%-3% per year meaning costs increased but the City’s revenues remained reduced.

The City focused all its resources on providing the same levels of service and maintaining the City’s infrastructure (e.g. parks, roads, sidewalks, facilities) within these financial restraints, however, this approach purposely focused resources to items that required attention and delayed normal infrastructure maintenance and compensation issues.

It has been over a decade since 2008, and it has become important for the City to find a solution to funding infrastructure maintenance and protect its investment in a trained and professional workforce.

The City has included a 5-year infrastructure maintenance and replacement program in this year’s budget. This program requires annual funding of $5.1 million per year. Without this tax increase, the City will not be able to budget for this program and the City’s assets will continue to age without the proper maintenance which leads to the increased cost of replacement.

In addition, the City recognizes its greatest asset is its workforce. Knowing the increasing competitive environment for trained professionals (especially in law enforcement), the City commissioned a comprehensive compensation study to protect its investment. The study identified the City’s compensation structure as below average when compared to other similar agencies. As such, the City has adopted a compensation plan and adjusted employee wages to the average market for their experience and position. The majority of this change is directed to the police and fire departments.

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1. Why are property taxes important?
2. Where do my property taxes go?
3. Are property taxes affected by inflation?
4. Why have my property taxes gone up if the City hasn't raised them?
5. Why is the tax rate increase needed?
6. How long will this increase sustain the City?
7. How does Murray City stack up against other cities? Is the City being cost effective?