Better streets will require higher property taxes and higher fees, according to a budget being recommended by Interim City Manager David Corliss.
Corliss this afternoon presented a 2007 recommended budget that calls for increasing property taxes by 0.98 of a mill, raising the franchise fees that every electric, telephone and cable customer in the city pays, and delaying some new park projects. But the budget also increases the amount of money the city would be able to spend on street maintenance by about $2 million.
The extra attention to infrastructure, though, will require a tax increase, Corliss said. The nearly one mill increase likely would cost the owner of a typical Lawrence home about $50 to $70 more per year in city property taxes. That's because in addition to the mill levy increase, most Lawrence homes are expected to rise in value by 5 percent to 7 percent, which also will increase the amount of taxes residents will owe. A mill is one dollar in property tax for every $1,000 of assessed value.
In addition to the property tax increase, Corliss is recommending an increase in the city's utility franchise fees that would increase a person's electric, phone and cable bills by a total of 5.75 percent per month.
City commissioners will discuss the budget throughout July and are expected to give it final approval in early August.
The budget is posted on the city's Web site at www.lawrenceks.org.