How does the levy limit impact your community's services? It restricts the amount of sidewalks we can repair/replace and as the fixed costs increase (utilities such as heat, electric, water, sewer, etc.) and our revenues have little growth we have to cut back in other areas which could impact programs and other essential services offered. For example our police department was at 7 employees only 5 - 10 years ago but now we are currently operating with 5 employees.
How does the levy limit impact your community's budgeting practices and finances, eg, your amount of borrowing? Because of the levy limits we are forced to borrow for more. Our current general obligation debt is at 55% and we are trying very hard to bring that back down. However, the only way to do that is to put off projects. We used to fix around $25,000 - $35,000 in sidewalks out of the operating budget. Now we are spending approximately $20,000 to fix sidewalks each year and it is part of our capital project loans.
How does the levy limit impact your community's staffing levels and employee compensation? Staffing has been reduced in the last 5 - 10 years.