Plymouth City Council Plans Wheel Tax Public Hearing

The Plymouth City Council members will gather public comments on a proposal to impose a wheel tax to help bridge a budget gap in 2018 and beyond.

Clerk-Treasurer Jeanine Xaver explained that the bond rating for the 2017 lease rental bonds was an A+, but Standard and Poor noted that the city’s decision to increase public safety salaries with reserves money this year will put the city’s budget in a $500,000 gap for 2018.

To remedy this, it was the Standard and Poor’s recommendation to raise new revenue.

The city council does plan to review the city’s fee schedule with the option of raising user fees, but Xaver noted that that action alone will not cover the gap. City Attorney Sean Surrisi said contingency planning for next year’s budget will help a lot, but it won’t be enough.

The city council did approve the services of Umbaugh and Associates to assist the city in producing a fee study to help in the budget situation. The council approved that service, with the help of in-house work to keep costs down. The estimated contract amount is $5,000-$10,000.

The option the council has is the implementation of a wheel tax. Xaver said the maximum amount that can be charged would be recommended which would bring in approximately $400,000. If the council wishes to adopt a wheel tax, it needs to be approved by Aug. 31. Public comment on the matter will be taken during the council’s next meeting on Monday, Aug. 14 at 6:30 p.m.