Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard and the Carmel City Council met to begin discussing the 2013 budget in a workshop on Tuesday, August 14th. Two additional budget workshops will be held during August. The workshops allow City department directors to present information to the City Council prior to the formal submission of the budget later in the fall. A public hearing on the budget will be held at the Council’s regularly scheduled meeting at 6 p.m. on Monday, October 1st and the budget will be voted on by the City Council at their regular meeting on Monday, October 15th. Indiana law requires that the City Council adopt a budget for 2013 by November 1, 2012.
Mayor Brainard emphasized that the 2013 budget is designed to keep home owners tax payments the same as 2012 while providing excellent city services. The proposed 2013 general fund budget is $74,978,832. The mayor is predicting that the city will have $6.5 million in the ending operating balance of the General Fund on December 31, 2012.
“Fortunately, Carmel has weathered the revenue drops many cities experienced during the recent recession very well and has millions of dollars in savings,” said Mayor Brainard. A property tax rate cap resolution will also be submitted to the City Council to ensure that residential property taxes will stay at the same level as this year.
Carmel has one of the lowest property tax rates of any of the approximately 120 cities in Indiana. The 2013 budget submitted is based on a detailed and constantly updated multi-year fiscal plan. The fiscal plan projects future revenues and expenses and allows the department directors to prioritize expenditures while being aware of the long-term impact of their decisions. Many cities do not have a multi-year Fiscal Plan, and without it, the budgeting process can be very difficult. Mayor Brainard said that the city’s fiscal plan projects no property tax increases during the next decade.
“It has always been our goal to provide the citizens of Carmel with the highest level of service at the lowest possible cost and I believe this budget will accomplish both those goals. We have always strived to keep spending under control while prioritizing those things that make Carmel competitive for good jobs and economic development,” said Mayor Brainard