Budget time for local governments

November 8th, 2013 by Ken

Both the City of Lacey and the Lacey Fire District held public meetings Thursday evening on their respective budgets.   Neither hearing drew any responses from the public.

That’s a continuing vexation  for local government.   They’re required by law to hold the hearings, and know that very rarely does anyone from the public appear.

The City of Lacey’s proposed 2014 budget is around $111.5 million, up from $103 million in 2013.   Most of the increase in costs come from administrative changes in finance accounting practices.   Some of the increase is the result of normal cost increases for labor.

The city did raise taxes including a one percent property tax hike and a utility tax increase.

The Lacey Fire District saw its budget increase from $14.9 million in 2013 to a projected 2014 budget of $15.9 million.   Half of the million dollar  increase came because of salaries for 12 new firefighters hired under a federal grant.   The district will have to pick up some of the salary costs.

The district also has to pick up the medical expenses for two former firefighters who retired under LEOFF 1.    That was about $180,000.  The costs go for longterm care.   (LEOFF  1 is a retirement system for fire fighters and police officers.  It became so expensive that the legislature retired the system.   However, those who went out for medical reasons under the plan,  are grandfathered in and still covered.)

Neither the city nor the fire district said that the Affordable Care Act had any impact on medical costs.

Posted in Government, History, Informational, Local Politics, The Real News

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