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Monroe mayor’s no-frills 2021 budget has no property tax increase

MONROE — Mayor Geoffrey Thomas’s budget largely sticks with what’s working to enter 2021 on stable footing.
The general fund, for day-to-day operations, will be $18.5 million in the mayor’s proposed budget, and the city of 19,800 people plans to spend about $96 million overall.
There are no furloughs or layoffs, and the budget unfreezes two vacant police officer positions and seasonal parks employees. It also continues to contribute money to the senior center’s van and the Monroe-to-Duvall connector shuttle.
Not in the budget is a request from the Monroe Municipal Court to add a probation officer. That job costs about $130,000 and would have imbalanced the budget, Thomas said.
2021 will see the first set of wayfinding and gateway signs installed at U.S. 2 and Main Street and at Sky River Park, and the city will commence design work toward a new City Hall.
The city also will develop a 6-year implementation plan and funding strategy for the recommendations submitted by its volunteer Homelessness Policy Advisory Committee.
The Police Department will be issued new 9mm duty sidearms to replace their 45mm pistols — they’ll be paid for from old money collected by the city’s now-defunct red light camera program.
In parks, the city will complete adding synthetic turf at Lake Tye Park, and finish acquiring the future North Hill Park property in the Trombley area near the cross streets of 191st Avenue SE and 134th Street. Blueberry Park will see a new playground.
The mayor is not proposing to increase property taxes for 2021.
The city plans to charge a rate of $1.08 per $1,000 in assessed value. For most homeowners, the city portion of their property tax bill stays the same: Even though property values are generally rising, future construction — the city anticipates 100 more homes — will spread the city’s property tax levy across a wider footprint, almost like a neutralizer.
Property taxes represent about $3.4 million worth of the city’s anticipated revenue. Sales tax represents $4.9 million, or a little over one-fourth of the city’s operational revenue.
The design work for the future City Hall will be paid for using Real Estate Excise Taxes (REET) generated by in-city construction activity.
The city also plans to invest $1 million for improvements to the city-owned building that houses the Monroe Boys & Girls Club.
The city is checking off its outstanding debts. Monroe paid off its North Kelsey bond debt in September. One debt it does have is for the new public works shop, which is in a bond that has $4.475 million left to pay.
The City Council is scheduled to approve the budget at its Nov. 10 meeting.

See the budget
Monroe's 2021 budget is online here:


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