Billings City Council plans hearing on mill levy rates

2014-08-25T10:16:00Z 2014-08-28T10:42:04Z Billings City Council plans hearing on mill levy ratesBy MIKE FERGUSON The Billings Gazette

The public will have the chance to tell the Billings City Council what it thinks about paying a smaller city tax bill this year.

A public hearing over mill levy rates is the first of six scheduled hearings before the council, which meets in council chambers at city hall at 6:30 p.m. Monday.

Financial Services Director Patrick Weber said that if the council approves, the proposed mill levy rate will be 10.58 mills less than it was during the 2013-14 tax year — 168.12 for the current year, which runs through June 30, 2015, and 178.70 for the 2013-14 tax year.

Applied to a $200,000 home, the 168.12 total mills would result in a city property tax of about $450 for 2014-15 compared to $482 for 2013-14.

The decrease in homeowners’ property tax bills, Weber wrote in a memo to the council, is mainly due to the tax protest settlement of Charter Communications and Verizon.

Following that public hearing and vote, the council will hear from the public on another taxing matter — a resolution establishing the Park District 1 assessment of 1.443 percent of taxable value, which will result in $2.265 million in 2014-15 revenue.

Proposed 2014-15 projects include $1.2 million in Stewart Park infrastructure improvements, $250,000 in Amend Park irrigation upgrades and $200,000 for a large event shelter in Pioneer Park, replacing one that had to be removed from North Park.

The other public hearings include: a proposed annexation and a zoning change of about 12 acres south of Elysian Road and just west of the Josephine Crossing Subdivision; a zoning change request (from Residential Multi-family-Restricted to Community Commercial) on a 2.5-acre parcel at 1125 Lake Elmo Drive; and a special review request to allow the location of an all-beverage liquor license in a vacant tenant space in the Babcock Building, 116 N. Broadway, the former location of Z Pizza.

Earlier in the meeting, the council will consider a number of items on its consent agenda. Among them:

Agreements for the purchase of de-icer, winter traction material and striping and road markings for nine roundabouts on Shiloh Road and King Avenue.

A Billings Urban Fire Service Area (BUFSA) agreement for the Billings Fire Department to provide services outside city limits.

A $245,467 amendment to an agreement with Jacobs Consultancy/LeighFisher Inc. to provide terminal and land use planning studies for the Billings Logan International Airport. The studies will help determine how to best deal with the continuing growth of passenger traffic, according to Tom Binford, director of aviation and transit, including crowded hold room areas, concourse restrooms and, possibly, moving Transportation Security Administration screening equipment out of the ticketing lobby.

Council approval for the Planning Division’s 2015 Unified Planning Work Program.

The document is used to program the federal funding Billings receives for transportation planning and must also be approved by the Policy Coordinating Committee, which will consider approval Tuesday.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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