Logan City budget issues include increased taxes for library and health care costs

Calling the proposed new budget “relatively flat” Logan Fiscal Director Richard Andersen told the Logan Municipal Council Tuesday night that it represents a 2.6-percent increase over the budget for the current year.

In the proposed budget review, Andersen said it appears employee raises will be based on performance. Each department will be given a three percent increase to be used for salaries and the department head will allolcate that money.

Andersen said the only increase in taxes comes in the area of the library, an increase of five percent.

“Property owners should not expect a five percent increase in property taxes overall,” explained Andersen. “That is because Logan City is only about 20% of their overall property tax levy. So we’re again taking about 40% of 20%, and putting a 5% increase on that.”

He said that would provide approximately $175,000 in revenue and cost taxpayers about $4 a month.

Health care costs are a significant budgeting issue, Andersen said. He told the council Tuesday night that it is something he is very concerned with looking forward.

“We’ve been able to contain health care costs by stop gap measures,” he continued, “by switching carriers, by looking for other ways to reduce costs. We switched to a high deductible health care plan. We’ve got an employee wellness plan that was well run.

“We’ve got all these things to control costs. Unfortunately, inherent in health care there is a 10% trend, which means that regardless of everything you do to control health care costs, it’s expected that health care will increase by 10%.”

Andersen said that is unreasonable and completely unsustainable. He is hoping that Obamacare, or some of the other new health care initiatives, will help bring the costs down.

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