Taxpayers within the city of Britt will see higher taxes come July, your third property tax increase since 2015. The Britt City Council held its public hearing Monday night at 6pm with no opposition to the proposed 51 cent increase over the current fiscal year, bringing the total increase to $1.49 since 2015. Initial talks began in February with a proposed 95 cent increase, which drew immediate pushback from Mayor Ryan Arndorfer and the council. Arndorfer tells how the board was able to come to an agreement on the 51 cent increase over the 95.
There was a discrepancy as to the time of the public hearing publicized in the February 26th edition of the Summit-Tribune, the official notification newspaper of Britt City Council proceedings. The front-page story said the public hearing would be held at 7pm, while the notice on page B7 said 6pm. Although there was a misprint regarding the hearing time, the proposed budget of $18.385 per 1,000 taxable property valuation was unanimously approved Monday night. Mayor Ryan Arndorfer tells about the need for the increase.
The higher tax levy is attributed to debt-service, capital improvements and the city’s plan to rebuild its general fund. According to Arndorfer, the possibility of another tax increase in fiscal year 2021 is on the horizon as the council’s goal is to always have at least 3 months of expenses in the general fund.
At the end of fiscal year 2017, the City of Britt’s general fund was reported at about $25,000, and in 2018, that had dropped to a $47,000 deficit – a loss of $72,000 in one year. In September of 2018, the Britt City Council approved $800,000 in general obligation urban renewal bonds for the new commercial park located between Highway 18 and Diagonal Street. So just what are some of the other projects in store for Britt?
No definitive time frame has been given for these massive projects. After the public hearing, the council mirrored Arndorfer’s sentiment that its main goal for now is to fix the budget.