Property taxes could be going up for Stockton residents in the coming year if an increase is approved at a town council meeting Aug. 9.
The proposed tax hike is 38 percent and is expected to generate $29,601 in additional property tax revenue, according to Stockton Mayor Thomas Karjola. The tax rate would rise from .002687 to .003705 in the proposed increase.
It’s the first increase in the property tax rate for Stockton residents since 2002, when the rate increased from .002394 to .003287, a hike of 37 percent.
A residential property worth $106,600 would see its taxes increase from $144.82 to $217.22. A commercial property of the same value would see its taxes rise from $263.30 to $394.95.
Karjola said the tax rate in the town has declined due to new growth and increased property value, but the town needs more funds for its daily operations. He cited past years where the property taxes were higher in the past than in the current year.
“The cost of business is going up,” Karjola said. “We need to increase revenue.”
During its June 20 meeting, the town council discussed its general fund budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year, and in particular the disparity between the budget and actual spending. Minutes from the meeting show the council budgeted $323,186 for the general fund but spent about $382,463 in the previous year.
During the same meeting, the town council suggested increasing taxes and covering the remaining deficit using funds invested through the state’s Public Treasurers’ Investment Fund or PTIF. As of today, the town has $221,550.70 in PTIF funds.
Karjola said the town needs more revenue to be able to afford capital projects or repair roads, and training or benefits for employees.
During a public hearing on the budget during the June 20 meeting, two residents spoke about the increase, according to meeting minutes.
There hasn’t been any action taken on looking to expand the town’s boundaries to capture more tax revenue, according to Karjola. He said the town’s planning and zoning commission has been working on an update to Stockton’s annexation policy.
The Aug. 9 meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at Stockton Town Hall at 18 N. Johnson St. Following a public hearing, the town council can vote to adopt the tax increase.