AUBURN — City councilors won’t be able to dip into their fund balances to keep taxes from rising this year, they said Monday.

Councilors got copies of their annual report Monday for the 2014-15 fiscal year along with a report from auditors Runyon Kersteen and Ouellette. The annual report and the auditor’s report are included in the City Council’s meeting packet, available on the city’s website.

Councilor Robert Stone said the city’s cash reserves are at about 6 percent of the annual budget, but they should be at 12.5 percent according to city policy.

“The point being that the days of using fund balances to keep the tax rate down are probably over,” Stone said. “That is a point of concern for me. We just don’t have anywhere to go and we have to consider that in the preparation of the budget and setting the tax rate.”

Overall, the city ended the fiscal year with $4.9 million unassigned cash in its general fund.

Auditor Casey Leonard said that was something councilors should keep an eye on. The balance was at about 12 percent in 2013 and went down to 9 percent in 2014.

“You are halfway to where you need to be,” Leonard said. “So now is the time to consider it.”

Overall, the city spent $82 million in the 2014-15 fiscal year, about $12 million less than the previous year for both city and school operations. About $8 million of that was accounting changes, mostly from the way the city reports its pensions. But $4.1 million was spending reductions in health, welfare, recreation, education and public works.

Revenue increased, from $84 million in 2013-14 fiscal year to $87 million for 2014-15. Of that, about $1.1 million was new revenue charged for Emergency Medical Services by the Auburn Fire Department.

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