Berne City Council members got their first glimpse of the city's proposed $2.2 million budget for 2012 on Monday evening. The spending outline for next year includes a general fund budget of just over $1.5 million — an increase of just $38,000 over this year's spending blueprint.
"It's a skinny budget," said clerk-treasurer Gwen Maller during a review of the document. "You don't want to spend more than you take in — like some cities do."
Maller said tax receipts resulting from property tax caps imposed two years ago by the Indiana legislature cost the city approximately $47,500 in revenue for 2011, and she expects to see a similar reduction in tax receipts for 2012. While the exact amount of lost property tax revenue has not yet been determined, Maller said the budget was prepared "based on the assumption that we're not going to be getting some of that money."
The city's 2010 budget of approximately $2.1 million reflected an increase of some $120,000 over the previous year. City officials last year said a 30 percent increase in health insurance premiums was in large part responsible for that hike.
City council will be asked at their Aug. 8 meeting to authorize Maller to formally publish the budget figures. The document will then be submitted to the Adams County Council for review and recommendations, and will ultimately be adopted in October.