Kingsford budget nudges tax rate lower

Kingsford’s new budget will provide $245,000 for a pair of paving projects on Woodward Avenue. Potholes are shown here near the intersection with Iron Mountain’s Harding Avenue. (Theresa Proudfit/Daily News photo)

KINGSFORD – The property tax rate for city government will drop by 1.3 percent under a proposed 2018-19 budget in Kingsford.

A hearing on the spending plan will take place during Monday’s city council meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.

The total proposed rate is 22.868 mills, or $22.87 per $1,000 of taxable value. That’s down by 0.304 mills, or 30 cents per $1,000 of taxable value, from the current rate of 23.172 mills.

The proposed levy breaks down as follows:

— 18 mills for general operating, the same as the current rate. Two years ago, the city raised the operating levy by 0.788 mills, marking the first increase since 2009.

— 3.232 mills for police and firefighter pensions, down from 3.47 mills, a decline of 0.238 mills. The pension millage is based on actuarial calculations and certification by the Police and Firemen’s Pension Board.

— 1.135 mills for the public works facility debt, down from 1.202 mills, a decline of 0.067 mills. This millage is based on an amortization schedule.

— 0.5 mills dedicated for streets, the same as this budget year. This marks the seventh year of the county-wide levy, which in Kingsford will generate about $63,500 for local needs. The millage was renewed for five years by Dickinson County voters in March 2016.

The budget includes $245,000 for paving work on Woodward Avenue. “This includes the local match for the Small Urban program from North Boulevard to Kimberly Avenue, along with a local project from Westwood Avenue to Balsam Street,” City Manager Tony Edlebeck said.

Another $100,000 is included for street paving projects to be determined later. Once the city closes out the current fiscal year, a recommendation will be made on using extra funds for other local street and alley paving, Edlebeck said.

In all, the anticipated city revenue from property taxes is $2.915 million, which is about $30,000 less than in the 2017-18 budget year. The total of all taxable valuations is about $127.5 million, representing an increase of about $360,000.

The general fund budget totals $3.8 million and is down about $40,000 from a year ago. The anticipated fund balance for June 30, 2019, is $1.5 million, the same as the current year.

A contribution to the capital improvement fund will provide enough revenue to replace a 1982 dump/plow truck this year at an estimated cost of $170,000.

The proposed budget includes no increases in water, sewer or garbage rates.

Jim Anderson can be reached at 906-774-3500, ext. 26, or