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The Johnston City Council unanimously approved the City’s budget for the Fiscal Year 2020 on Monday, March 4, 2019. The budget adopted will facilitate growth while ensuring priorities are met. The new budget will go into effect on July 1, 2019.
The $56.9 million budget increases the property tax rate slightly from $11.52 to $11.65 per $1,000 of taxable assessed value. The $0.13 increase is necessary due to the community’s growth and the need for additional public safety personnel. The general fund levy for Johnston is $6.83 per $1,000 valuation of assessed value – second lowest in Polk County, $1.27 below the legal cap of $8.10.
“I am very pleased with where the budget ended up this year,” said City Administrator Jim Sanders. “There was a lot of hard work put into getting this budget finalized by city officials and staff. City leaders prioritized projects based on the needs of our community and feedback received during the recent community survey. As our community continues to grow, so does the demand for services, especially first responders and those who maintain city streets. It is imperative we maintain a tax rate that not only allows our city to grow but allows maintenance of our existing infrastructure and equipment as well.”
Highlights of the FY 2020 Capital Improvement Plan include the following projects:
Road and Trail Projects
Water Quality Improvements
The City of Johnston currently has 110 full-time staff. Two new positions will be added in July 2019 – a full-time sworn Police Officer and a full-time firefighter. Adding a full-time police officer would take the Johnston Police Department to 30 full-time sworn position. The Police Department has also been granted the authority to increase authorized staffing of sworn personnel to 31 officers effective with the new budget, but funding has not yet been allocated. This decision is a proactive measure being implemented to provide necessary personnel resources and field training when routinely operating below full staff due to shortages related to unplanned vacancies, injuries, military leave, and one anticipated retirement.
The FY 20 Budget also includes utility rate increases which had been previously approved by the City Council. Each Johnston household will see an average monthly bill increase of approximately $3.61. The increase was deemed necessary following a fiscal analysis of each enterprise fund to account for system and operational costs resulting from the continued growth of the community. The purchase cost of water from Des Moines Water Works will increase 7 percent on April 1, 2019.
For each dollar paid on property taxes, the City receives approximately $0.28. There are eight other entities collecting revenue from property taxes paid by Johnston residents including:
More information about the City’s FY 2020 budget can be found on the City of Johnston’s website. To view the budget infographic, click here.