Missoula City Mayor Jordan Hess outlined a new executive budget based upon the state’s new property appraisals and has stated that there will be a new tax increase this year and the Missoula city budget is in its final stretch.
Mayor Jordan Hess has made addressing homelessness, inequality, and climate change as the city’s priority. Hess said that funding social services is a community priority.
The Mayor released the new executive budget, which takes into account the state’s new property appraisals. The Mayor has stated that a new tax increase is unavoidable in order to achieve these goals.
The mayor’s new budget places significant emphasis on social services prompting new tax increase. This includes allocating substantial funds to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, addressing homelessness, supporting the United Way’s childcare program, and creating new job positions.
The state has provided the city with its final taxable values, which will be used to determine the city’s budget and the amount of the assessed taxes. However, the taxable amounts were not yet available, so it is still uncertain how the new tax increase will affect local taxpayers.
The new tax increase will not be implemented immediately. The mayor said his executive budget outline the goals in the city’s strategic plan and the new tax increase isn’t yet known.
The new tax increase is not yet set as the City Council is still considering a number of amendments to the budget, it’s worth noting that any new additions to the budget could potentially increase the expenses for local taxpayers when there will be a new tax increase, despite some efforts to reduce funding on certain proposals.
In another Missoula Current article, as the NorthWestern Energy requests an increase in power cost which prompts for a new tax increase. The City Council approved a plan to levy and assess new tax increase within each street lighting district affected by the power cost increase.
Council member Gwen Jones said that the city has some fund balance and savings from the LED conversion which can help lessen the new tax increase for the lighting district. Although the downside is that the city will exhaust its budget, due to the Northwestern Energy’s rate increase.