The Manhattan City Commission held their first budget work session Tuesday to discuss the estimated 2024 revenue neutral rate and possible changes to the mill levy.
Deputy City Manager Jason Hilgers presented the commission with the city’s year-to-date financials and the impact of property valuation increases on the revenue neutral rate (RNR).
Hilgers said overall valuations increased by 9.5%, dropping the RNR below the current 52.15 mill levy.
Commissioner John Matta said maintaining the estimated 47.6 RNR in 2024 poses a significant downside by not allowing the city to capture tax growth.
Commissioner Wynn Butler agreed with Matta.
City Manager Ron Fehr also noted that forgoing the RNR would increase the budget decision timeframe and allow for more discussion and outside feedback.
Both Mayor Mark Hatesohl and Commissioner Linda Morse indicated agreement that a 47.6 mill levy is too low.
If the board approves exceeding the RNR, commissioners will have until August 25th, rather than July 20th, to publish the tax rate and notify residents of the budget public hearing taking place the following month.