Superior Council Seeks Ways To Balance Next Years Budget Without Increased Taxes
No one is immune to the current rising cost of living. With inflation at an all time high, it seems like every time you go to buy something, its cost has doubled, tripled, or worse.
That same principle is at play for government budgets; except that when prices increase, that cost is passed on in the form of property taxes.
City administrators in Superior are looking for ways to not have that happen. At least not this year. As the City Council preps their annual and capital budgets for next year, Superior Mayor Jim Paine has directed the parties involved to do so without added costs.
According to details shared in an article in the Superior Telegram [paywall], Paine is looking for councilors to "establish their priorities" - even while advancing programs and proposals. There is also the acknowledgement that whatever budget is finalized for next year, it will be "tough" due to the inflationary effects being felt by everyone. Paine cautioned:
"This is a time when almost every expense is going up for households. And I'm not particularly interested in giving them one more bill that's getting higher. Their utilities are going up. Gas is going up. Groceries are going up. And that's true for renters as well. Their rent is going up, and if we raise property taxes, I can guarantee landlords are going to pass that onto renters."
At the same time as city leaders are being cautious about spending and budgets, they're also eyeing some bold and aggressive proposals that would increase expenses.
At the forefront of those expenses is funding to "cover the cost of a full revaluation of the city's residential properties, which are out of compliance with the state". In order to rectify that situation, Superior would add a staff member and upgrade outdated software.
In addition, City Councilors are looking at fire and emergency department improvements, spending for recreational facilities, road and street projects, "expanding the internet crimes against children office and computer lab", the public camera system that has been discussed before, and a major overhaul for the city's zoning code; that revision to the zoning codes hasn't been done in more than 35 years.
Whatever the 2023 annual and capital budget for the City of Superior ends up looking like, it needs to be finalized soon. The first drafts of that budget get presented to the Superior City Council at their September meeting.