JEFFERSON — Jefferson residents will be pleased to learn their city’s tax rate will decrease 7.04% in 2021, but services will remain at current levels and there are no significant increases in user fees or public charges.

Jefferson City Administrator Tim Freitag said, the substantial decrease in tax rate in 2021 is due to controlled spending and an increase in property values.

Jefferson’s common council approved the budget, as well as tax levy and rate for 2021, by a unanimous vote Tuesday. The document comes with a tax rate of $7.98 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, as compared with $8.58 in 2020.

According to city officials, the budget maintains implementation of the city’s capital improvement plan, as well as its overall positive financial trend.

No one spoke at a public hearing that was held on the budget, tax levy and rate.

Projected revenues are $6,522,425 for next year, while projected expenditures are $6,502,675. The proposed levy of $4,514,225 is approximately 100% of the permissible levy for 2021. The levy for this year was $4,506,575.

All funds spending is projected at $14,542,150, while it will likely come to $16,630,475 as this year concludes, so a $2,088,325 decrease in overall spending was adopted.

City jobs created include one new, full-time parks position that will be funded for 12 months. Step increases for employees will be frozen and there will be no adjustment in pay structure.

The budget funds a Dean Health Care Plan for employees, paired with a health savings account, as well as funding for a 2021 deductible at a reduced level to keep city costs under the 2018 city health insurance cost level.

There were no increases requested in the city’s water, electric, or storm water rates.

Capital improvement projects and equipment replacement spending includes funding for equipment, public facility maintenance, reconstruction of Plymouth Street, creation of the Meadow Springs Conservancy and a Woolcock Street interceptor project.

City officials said the municipalities debt capacity and reserve is “very positive.”

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