Dublin City Council to host second hearing on proposed tax increase tonight

JESSIE HORTON jessie.horton@empiretribune.com
Dublin Mayor Becky Norris

The City of Dublin will hold its second public hearing regarding the increase in the city's tax rate tonight. The meeting, which will be held at 6 p.m. in the Dublin City Hall meeting room, will be the second opportunity for residents of the city to ask questions and voice their opinions regarding the upcoming increase in the city's tax rate, a proposed increase of five cents per $100 tax appraised value.

According to Dublin Mayor Becky Norris, city officials had no choice but to increase the tax rate in order to save the city from going into debt.

"It really bothered all of us and they (the council and city officials) fought hard to find another way, any way to avoid an increase," Norris said. "But in the end, it was the only way."

The mayor added that officials also cut everything possible from the 2012-2013 budget, except for personnel.

"We've taken out all the extras," she said. "When we started on the budget, as with any, department leaders each had a wish list of things they needed and wanted for the upcoming year. But in the end, we cut it all out so that no one lost their jobs. That was the most important part for us."

At the last public hearing, which was held on Thursday, Aug. 30, not a single resident was on hand to comment or question the council and the meeting lasted only a few minutes. With the second hearing to be held this week, the council plans to move forward with the public hearing regarding the 2012-2013 budget on Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 6 p.m. in city hall, and a special called meeting on Monday, Sept. 17 at 6 p.m. to adopt the proposed tax rate and new budget by means of ordinance.

"This has been and will continue to be a difficult situation," Norris said. "But this budget is just a plan of where we think we will go. We are applying for grants which will help, and there will be emergencies that will come up. There will be changes, both positive and negative in this situation, but we have a good group working hard for the people of this community."