What is a Municipal Budget?
The municipal budget details all of the expenses and revenues that the City of Saco needs to provide quality services for its citizens for a full fiscal year (July 1st - June 30th). The municipal budget is similar to a family budget that you might create to ensure that the money you earn adequately covers the money you spend. Unlike your family budget, the City of Saco’s budget is a legally adopted document, which means that it can only be changed through an act of the City Council.
The goal of the budget is to ensure the sustainable future growth of the City of Saco. Sustainable growth starts with best-in-class city services, such as safe neighborhoods, reliable roads, and great schools. Those best-in-class services drive population growth, as more and more people and business want to be a part of our community. Population growth drives growth in real estate values, whether that be new houses being built or rising demand for existing inventory. That growth in real estate values ensures rising tax revenue, which pays for the inflation-based cost increases of our best-in-class city services with minimal impact to the property tax rate.
The property tax rate is an important factor in budget conversations because it is the single largest source of revenue that the City can use to pay for its expenses. Sometimes people refer to it as the mil rate. That is because the tax rate is typically discussed based on its rate per $1000 of real estate property value. For fiscal year 2019, the mil rate is $19.38.
The mil rate is further broken down into three categories:
Here is what the mil rate has looked like over the last 7 years.