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Preliminary Meadville budget includes no new taxes

Submitted Thu, 11/07/2013 - 6:54am by Andy Alm

MEADVILLE – Meadville’s proposed 2014 budget has no tax increase.  City Council got a preliminary look at the budget last night.  It’s calling for for an expenditure of 8-million 856-thousand dollars.  That is up two and a half percent from 2013, with a real estate tax millage rate unchanged at 20.42 mills. 

City Manager Joe Chriest says the city will tap into savings to close a 45-thousand dollar shortfall – funds the city had on standby but did not have to touch this year.

“Through judicious spending by our employees this year, we didn’t need to make that transfer, so that money is still sitting there.”

One of the toughest problems facing the city right now is its growing pension obligations.  Chriest’s solution  won’t affect current employees, but will change the way pensions are managed for employees hired after January 1st.

“Any non-represented employees hired after January 1st would go to a defined contribution.  So, at that time, what the city would say is, we will match your contributions up to x-percent.”

A defined contribution, as opposed to a defined benefit plan, means employees are guaranteed a city match, but won’t be promised a certain amount in return, thus ultimately placing the fate of their savings at the whims of the financial markets.