Columbus adopts 2023 city budget

COLUMBUS – The Columbus City Council unanimously approved the 2023 budget at its meeting Tuesday night.

The city’s total budget for Columbus, which does not include other tax jurisdictions in the tax bill, is approximately $21 million. Columbus City Administrator Kyle Ellefson said the general fund budget is about $4.5 million, with the total tax levy for all funds being about $4 million.

“We don’t have an official county mill rate sheet for this year yet, but our internal figures show that the mill rate is 8.048, an increase of approximately 1.42% over the previous budget without the use of credit,” Ellefson said . “That’s because TIDs are closing and the money that’s retiring is going into tax collection for the first time,” Ellefson said.

Funds previously went to the Tax Increase District, but now they are being collected into the general fund. Approximately 1.48% increase will occur in individual property tax bills with TID expenses if basic expenses remain the same.

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The city’s population is 5,530 people, Ellefson said. The non-tax value is up $72.4 million and is estimated at $535 million. The TIF value fell by $20 million as the city closes a TIF in 2022. Net new construction is less than 1%.

Ellefson said the budget process began in July, and along with department heads, the Columbus City Council also had a vote on the budget.

“The Council gets a chance to provide guidance,” Ellefson said. “The policy has been to maintain our core services and amenities that we offer and to focus on retaining and hiring jobs and ensuring our compensation is reasonable.”

From 2022 there will be several budget increases, Ellefson said. Capital projects are up $69,000, debt services up $58,000, cemetery expenses up $10,000, library expenses up $4,000, water center expenses up $3,000, and the beautification fund up $1,000.

“In 2022, there was a budgeted loss for trash and recycling,” Ellefson said. “The proposed fee for 2023 is $194 per year, an increase of $10 per year.”

Ellefson said the city will evaluate if there are other providers who can offer similar garbage and recycling services at lower fees.

According to Ellefson, the Columbus-area EMS group increased costs by 3% based on population.

Capital projects planned for 2023 include replacing the roof of City Hall and rebuilding Folsom Street.

Follow Terri Pederson on Twitter @tlp53916 or contact her at 920-356-6760.

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