Truman sets preliminary levy increase

TRUMAN – Truman City Council approved a 3 percent levy increase for 2014, bringing the total levy amount up by $10,818.

Mayor pro-tem Paul Leimer noted the hike is the same percentage increased last year, but most Truman residents saw a decrease in their taxes due to lower property values on their homes.

“I expect it will be the same this year,” he said.

The council originally considered not raising the levy, but decided to after some discussion.

City Clerk Monte Rohman felt a budget with no increase would have been too restrictive: “There are a couple things I would have liked to put in there, but I [couldn’t].”

Specifically, the city office is due to update its accounting software as the current program is no longer supported. Rohman would also like to see the city website updated.

“Years ago we didn’t raise taxes when times were good,” Leimer said, “and we probably should have.”

Councilman Jake Ebert said he would rather increase incrementally than see a large jump in years to come.

“A little bit at a time is better than 10 percent in two years,” he said.

The council did not have a specific project to put the increase toward, but the money will be used for miscellaneous expenses that crop up.

“The biggest thing we have coming up is the pool,” Leimer said, referring to a project to fix cracks in the city’s swimming pool.

“We need to increase 3 percent because we are falling behind without it,” Leimer said.

The levy amount approved Tuesday night can be lowered but not raised before final approval during a Truth-in-Taxation hearing 7 p.m. Dec. 2.