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Less Portage CCD funds sets up property tax increase

Updated: February 4, 2013 10:33PM



PORTAGE — Portage Clerk Treasurer Christopher Stidham told the Portage Common Council Budget Committee Monday night that the State Board of Accounts has generally approved the Portage budget with a few exceptions. The major exception is a $140,000 reduction in the city’s Cumulative Capital Development (CCD) fund. The city had budgeted $380,000, but will now only have about $240,000 to spend.

Money from the CCD fund is used to purchase equipment and vehicles and is a tax on property. The decline in funding sets the stage for a tax rate increase to go into effect in 2014. The current rate is 2 cents per $100 assessed valuation. The council will be asked to “reset” the rate to its original 5 cents per $100 assessed valuation at the Tuesday night council meeting. A public hearing will be required and is expected to take place at the March council meeting.

Forty-three non-unionized city employees are in line to receive a 3 percent pay increase on April 1. Unionized employees have already received raises. The increase in pay is expected to cost the city about $43,000 in 2013.

These same employees are being prepared for new health insurance policies to go into effect on April 1. An open enrollment period begins Feb. 11 and ends Feb. 28. Employees are being offered three separate plans to choose from with varying rates of monthly premium costs, co-pay and deductibles.

A high deductible plan is being offered in conjunction with a Health Savings Account (HAS) into which the city will make an initial contribution of $1200 for 2013. Employees can also sell back vacation time with proceeds deposited into their HSA. Personal days may also be sold back for cash or HSA deposit.

The council will act on the raises and health insurance changes Tuesday night.



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