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Mayor Proposes 2020 Budget
City of Carmel
One Civic Square
Carmel, IN 46032
Date: October 7, 2019
Contact: Nancy Heck (317) 571-2494
Mayor Proposes 2020 Budget that Provides
More Employees for Public Safety
Carmel, IN – On Monday, October 7, Mayor Jim Brainard will present to the Carmel City Council, the proposed 2020 Carmel City budget, which included a slight tax decrease. If passed, residents of the City of Carmel will continue to pay among the lowest city tax rates in the state of Indiana. Carmel’s proposed rate is the 11th lowest among 118 cities in Indiana.
The proposed budget for the General Fund is $112.8 million. In addition, the proposed budget for the Motor Vehicle Highway Fund (Streets and Engineering) is $17 million. Along with the budget will be a resolution calling for the city to cap the tax rate at a maximum 0.7886 per $100 assessed valuation. The city believes the final calculation by the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF) will result in a slightly lower rate, however, the budget proposal calls for the rate to be capped at the 2019 level in order to ensure the public the rate will not increase. A resident living in a $200,000 gross-value homestead, subject to a mortgage deduction, will pay, at most, $771 for the city tax portion for 2020.
Working with financial experts, the City of Carmel has relied on a 20-year fiscal plan that projects future revenues and expenses and allows the department directors to prioritize expenditures while being aware of the long-term impact of their decisions.
“It has always been our goal to provide the citizens of Carmel with the highest level of service at the lowest possible cost and this budget will once again accomplish both those goals. This is a key part of our economic development strategy of keeping the cost of living down and the quality of life up, helping us attract more corporate headquarters, jobs and a highly qualified workforce,” said Mayor Brainard. “We are in a very competitive battle with cities across the country for companies that are increasingly seeking new locations away from other states and communities where both taxes and the cost of living, not to mention commute times, are much higher than what we offer in Carmel.”
At the end of 2019, the city will transfer more than $2 million from savings to the Rainy Day Fund. Carmel has the fifth largest Rainy Day Fund of 119 cities in Indiana. The city is projecting that the Rainy Day Fund and General Fund will have balances that total more than $18 million at the end of 2020 and when considering all city funds, will exceed $40 million by the end of 2024.
The 2020 budget includes interest and principal payments from general property tax and local income tax of $26,266,463. Carmel has a reasonable amount of debt service to revenue. Principal and interest payments constitute less than 20 percent of City revenues.
The Mayor’s proposed 2020 General Fund budget is $112,892,631, which is a 10.3 percent increase over 2019. This allows for the addition of 15 firefighters to man an additional ladder truck. The city has also had to increase funds as 2020 will be the first full year of services to the Home Place area. Another part of this increase is due to the fact that the leap-year calendar has aligned to require 27 pay periods this year, instead of the usual 26 pay periods per year. This requires a one-time budget increase of $1,975,000 to cover these payroll costs, which includes salaries, FICA, PERF and specialty pay. In addition, there are $3.6 million in expenditures that will not reoccur each year and are proposed to be paid out of savings.
While Carmel has debt for infrastructure, such as roads, parks, water treatment plants, etc. and other capital investments, it never borrows for regular operations.
That means, under this proposal, the City will be able to fund the following additional services in 2020:
- 3 additional police officers
- 15 additional firefighters
- Added funds to total $5 million for repair/repaving, which allows Carmel to maintain high quality streets by repaving those in most need on a rotational basis
- Additional community events and festivals
The City Council, after holding a public hearing and considering the proposed budget must, under state law, pass the budget by November 1.
The Council meets Monday at 6 p.m. at Carmel City Hall.
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