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Committee eyes another option for financial woes

Combining a municipal fee with an increase in the municipal payroll tax might be the recommendation coming from the citizen-panel committee, dubbed the "Right Choice" committee organized by Mayor Bob Cleary to look at the city’s financial situation.

Saturday, July 21, 2001

Combining a municipal fee with an increase in the municipal payroll tax might be the recommendation coming from the citizen-panel committee, dubbed the "Right Choice" committee organized by Mayor Bob Cleary to look at the city’s financial situation.

The group discussed the benefits of using a combined system during a work session where committee members attempted to hash out a way to generate $800,000 – the expected cash-flow deficit for next year’s budget.

The $800,000 mark, explained council chairman Jim Tordiff, will just keep the city at its current level of funding. He reminded the committee, "We can’t increase with $800,000."

Tordiff added the city "is doing without so many things…the mayor and I could make a list of 104 things we (the city) don’t have…it’s just phenomenal the things we need."

The group did make one recommendation that made its way up to council chambers later that evening.

The group recommended council amend the pending resolution to place a half-percent increase in the payroll tax to a 0.45 percent increase in the tax. The group felt that 0.45-percent mark better reflects the going tax rate in other area cities.

Council adopted the amendment and decided to table the pending legislation after Ordinance 01-34 received second reading.

The Right Choice group will meet again Monday at 6 p.m. in a joint session with city council to work on a recommendation.