LYNDEN - The City Council has approved a 1 percent property tax increase allowed by state law and dipped into reserves to balance the $10.4 million general fund budget for 2014.
The council approved Lynden Mayor Scott Korthuis' budget on Monday, Dec. 16.
The incoming spending plan is more than the $9.6 million in this year's general fund, which pays for the everyday cost of running the city.
"We're taking care of essential services, running with a slight deficit with hopes of increased income next year to take care of that. But we're not planning on that increased income quite yet," Korthuis said of the budget, which will require drawing down city reserves by $50,000.
This year's budget drew down reserves by nearly $113,000, but that was less than expected because sales and property taxes came in higher than expected and the city kept expenses down in the last couple of months, Korthuis said.
The general fund is part of an overall proposed budget totaling $57.4 million for next year - less than the $72.3 million for this year. That's because 2013 was the year for large capital projects, including a bridge project, road projects and the start of construction for the city's water treatment plant, with money for those coming from sources that include federal and state dollars.
Next year's budget also includes a proposed 7 percent increase in water utility rates to help pay for the new water treatment plant.
Reach Kie Relyea at 360-715-2234 or firstname.lastname@example.org.