Transportation Impact Fees – Our engineering firm was contracted to complete this process and the staff and Council were using the timeline and agenda language provided to the city for agenda preparation. We completed a 30-day public notification for the imposition of transportation impact fees but were not provided the 30-day notification language for the adoption of the impact fees. The public notification has been put into the newspaper and the item added to an agenda in September for the Council to consider and act upon. A resident pointed this out to us and we want to thank him, Matt Spaethe, for helping us to identify this error so that we can correct this before the fee schedule was updated and adopted.
Further, there was a technical glitch in our city website. The agenda was posted around 4:30 on Friday and then updated shortly thereafter to reflect a change in the order of items as well as add the two items, once we received the language from our engineering consultant. The technical glitch occurred when we reuploaded the agenda PDF file with the same name, the website did not replace the file. If you click on the packet link you will see the agenda that was used during the meeting.
After the meeting, staff reached out to our City Attorney to ask about this technical glitch and this was the response: “Since NF maintains a website, it has to post notice of the meeting on its website. LGC 551.056 (b)(1). However, NF, with a population of less than 48,000, does not have to post the meeting agenda on the website. LGC 551.056 (c)(1). Based on the facts you presented me, I don’t see a need for NF to act again on the actions added to the agenda that timely posted on the physical bulletin board. That is the extent of NFs legal obligation under the open meetings act. Though it would have been preferable to have the agenda timely posted to the website as well, the failure to do so is not fatal to the actions taken under the timely posted physical agenda. Although not applicable here, the statute has a “get out of jail free card” if there was a good faith attempt to get something posted electronically but were unable to do so as the result of a technical problem beyond the control of the NF. LGC 551.056 (d).”
We will always do our best to make sure that accurate information is posted in a timely fashion and are anxiously waiting for our updated website so that we can avoid some of these technical glitches.
Fiscal Year 2021-2022 Annual Budget – the City Council is required to adopt an annual maintenance and operating (M&O) and interest and sinking fund (I&S) budget followed by the adoption of a property tax rate that supports that budget. Recent legislative action, SB2, limited the annual increase in revenues collected from property taxes to no more than three-and-one-half percent (3.5%) annual increase, excluding new improvements, and established the no-new-revenue-rate, voter approval rate, and de minimis rate for cities with a population of less than 30,000.
According to SB2, if the rate adopted exceeds the no-new-revenue-rate, but is less than the voter-approval rate, then it will not trigger an election in November. If the adopted rate is greater than the voter-approval rate, then it triggers an election in November for voter ratification unless they are a small city. Small cities may adopt the de minimis rate, which literally means, “too trivial or minor to merit consideration.” The de minimis rate allows cities to increase their tax rate to a level that raises an additional $500,000 in revenue without triggering an election in November.
The image below shows the no-new-revenue, voter approval, and de minimis rates, as well as the annual revenue generated by each penny of property tax, $17,884.