The City of Bellevue may experience a 13.6% increase in property taxes and the City is proposing a 42% increase in their budget for the fiscal year 2023. Here are the important facts in advance of tonight's Sarpy County Joint Public Hearing:
- The increase in the property tax request of 13.6% is equal to the increase in property valuations set by Sarpy County which will be invested in critical essential services
- The increase in operating expenses only amount to 5.3% which is below average inflation over the last two years
- The City of Bellevue’s projected budget increase of 42% is primarily due to the significant increase in their investment in needed capital projects
The City of Bellevue is not raising their mill levy and due to the high valuations, the City’s Budget is proposed to increase from $30,290,374 to $34,414,880 which is a 13.6 % increase.
Addressing the Debt. The City of Bellevue has managed its debt conservatively which puts it in a place where it can use some new debt to invest in needed infrastructure and economic development that will have the opportunity to shift the tax burden from homeowners. The City of Bellevue’s debt is $69,185,000. That is a decrease of $5,420,000 from the prior year. It is 1.23% of valuation and the average true interest cost of 1.9656% are manageable. New debt will be more expensive, however, with Bellevue’s AA+ rating is expected to keep rates reasonable.
Addressing the Budget: The City’s Budget is increasing approximately 42% due to the City Council, Mayor and Administration addressing some overdue capital expenditure projects that will benefit the citizens and potentially bring economic growth. The proposed budget includes $72,574,000 of these capital improvement projects which is up from $30,216,600 the previous year. Operating expenses increased 5.3%, in line with average inflation over the past two years.
Rather than have you dig through the budget page by page, here is a list of highlights of those proposed Capital Improvements by category:
> Economic Development - $18,750,000 – This includes a MUD Water Main Extension and Infrastructure Improvements in the LB 840 area
> Cultural - $8,850,000- Engineering and Construction for Entertainment District, American Heroes Park Amphitheater, and the Library Renovation Project at Longo Drive
> Parks and Recreation- $3,585,000 – New Playground and shelter at Everett Park, New restroom Building at Washington Park, Bike and Hiking Trail Renovations at Banner Park & College Heights and Haworth Park Drainage improvements.
> Street Improvements - $28,711,000 - South 36th Street (Sheridan to Platteview) Bridge repairs, Drainage Improvements, 2024 Overlay Project , Signal Improvements along with many resurfacing and street Improvement projects
> Wastewater – 4,685,000 – South Bellevue Sanitary Improvements (Mission Avenue) Haworth and American Heroes Park Sanitary Improvements
> Public Safety – $985,000 - Police/Fire Command Post, Other Police and Fire Safety Equipment
> Infrastructure - $7,008,000 – Public Works Maintenance Facility and other Equipment and Improvements
Many infrastructure projects in Bellevue have been delayed for decades. Now that our police force and fire department is in good shape, it is time to work on improving and building our infrastructure to grow our tax base, bring in outside entertainment dollars, new jobs, and more sales tax generating businesses.