AUBURN — City expenses would increase about $930,464, according to a draft budget councilors received Monday night.
City Manager Clinton Deschene unveiled his proposed budget that would use more general fund revenues to pay for capital projects such as road work and equipment purchases, increase employee salaries by about 1 percent and pay for spring cleanup curbside collections in 2014.
The proposed budget would increase property taxes $183 for a $150,000 home.
Deschene said his proposed budget does not take cuts in state revenue into account yet. State revenue reductions in excise taxes, real property reimbursement and state revenue sharing reimbursement would reduce city revenues by another $3.07 million.
"You could close any one of three of these departments — fire, police or public works — and we offset that loss from the state," Deschene said.
Councilors could also skip all road repairs this year to cover the lost state revenue.
Councilors will start reviewing budget requests from individual city departments April 8.
Deschene's budget would spend $37.3 million for municipal services. Meanwhile, non-property tax revenues would go down $57,623. That would increase the property taxes $1.22 per $1,000 of property value. That's about $183 for a $150,000 home.
Deschene said the city needs to work on increasing assessed valuation by 5 percent each year to keep property taxes from rising in the future. He said the city also needs to adopt a better capital planning process that forecasts the city's needs for at least five years, and he suggested councilors should adopting fees for some services.
"It's additional revenue that won't totally cover the amounts we are looking at, but it would lessen impacts," Deschene said. "The more we can look at departments that have fees that offset their operational costs, the better property taxes will become."