Community News

The City Council will hear public testimony Monday night on the city’s $43.4 budget for next year, which includes a request for a one percent increase in the property tax rate. 

Mayor Dean Maxwell’s budget message says “Anacortes continues to be one of the lowest taxing cities in Skagit County with a projected 2008 millage of $1.32 / 1000 of assessed value. ”

Property tax revenues largely fund operations of the City’s general government departments Police, Fire, Museum, Parks, and Library. The city’s utilities are funded separately. largely through user fees.

The coming year’s budget is 4.4 percent, or $1.9 million, higher than this year’s.

One large items on the budget is $2.5 million for upgrades to the city’s water treatment plant. The planned improvements, which will total around $36 million over several years, will be paid for by users of the city’s water, not property tax payers.

There are other items on the agenda besides the budget public hearing. And, following the open part of the meeting, the Council is set to go into closed session to discuss litigation over a cell tower planned for church property.