The City of Livingston passed its new fiscal year budget with a 20-cent property tax increase Monday night.
When the budget was initially read, the proposed tax increase stood at 25-cents. In the weeks following that meeting, the tax increase decreased 5-cents. Mayor Curtis Hayes said it felt good to get the budget passed with extra revenue to help fix some lingering problems.
“14-cents of the 20-cents is going to paving streets in Livingston,” Hayes said. “There’s no easy way to do it. It’s a million dollars of paving that this community is going to have, and deservedly so. We have some streets that need major attention to it. This is a major shot in the arm.”
Livingston has not increased property taxes since 2016. Alderman Kelly Coleman said he believed it was time to raise revenue, especially for needed repairs.
“Since I came on this onto this council, our certified financial manager has been telling us, and I think for years prior to that, that this city has been remiss in increasing taxes a nickel-a-year,” Coleman said. “I’ve heard that over-and-over-and-over, to keep up with inflation. The way I see this budget, it’s six-cents, which represents kind of what he’s been telling us for years we need to be doing. And then 14-cents of the 20-cents is a dedicated street resurfacing program, which I fully support.”
Aldermen Ronald Dishman and David Langford voted against the proposed budget. Dishman cited concerns from taxpayer as his reason for opposing any tax increase.
“I am voting no because of the taxpayer contact and the citizen calls in the last two weeks,” Dishman said. “I realize it’s cut down some, but I still think we could tighten some more.”