City doesn’t take property tax increase for Blaine budget

For the second year, the City Council approved a “status quo” General Fund budget that once again won’t include a property tax increase for Blaine residents, according to the city’s finance director.

By law, the city can take a 1 percent property tax increase or bank it for the future.

The council adopted the 2015 budget on Monday, Dec.8.

At $5.7 million for next year, the General Fund, including carryover, will be less than this year’s $5.9 million.

The General Fund pays for the daily cost of running the city. It is part of an overall budget of $36 million.

It includes a projected increase in sales tax revenue of nearly $64,000, bringing the projected annual amount to nearly $1.3 million.

“We’re starting to see a little bit of an uptick,” said Jeffrey Lazenby, the city’s finance director.

Canadians who shop online and have those products shipped to mailboxes in Blaine for pickup are the reason for that increase in sales tax revenue, according to Lazenby.

And while there isn’t much growth that could bring additional revenue into the city of Blaine, he hoped that soon will change.

“It’s a status quo budget but, hopefully, in the next year or next couple of years we’ll see more moderated growth,” Lazenby said.