At the latest city of Independence budget committee meeting, the majority of the committee voted to approve an amended city budget for fiscal year 2024-25. At the June 11, 2024, city council meeting, the city council will review and further discuss the amended budget.

The amended budget includes directions for staff to persist in exploring opportunities to decrease a proposed public safety fee. Additionally, the committee voted to increase some event fees to capture more tourism and event dollars.

The following is an excerpt from the FY 2024-25 proposed city budget “Operational and Budget Challenges” section brought forth for streamlined public accessibility:

While the influx of federal funds via the American Rescue Plan Act was welcome, these one-time funds created significant fluctuations that made it harder to see the base budget for FY 2023 and ensure that it was sustainable. As we advised in the FY2024 Budget Message the General Fund is not sustainable without an alternative revenue stream. This FY2025 balanced budget incorporates the following proposals:

• A one-time, reduction in General Fund contingency of $400,000 relative to the FY2024 budget brings the City below the required contingency amount specified in policy, which will be replenished through a strategy involving additional revenue streams discussed below and eventually provide funds for reinvestment in services; and

• The implementation of a $27 per month Public Safety Fee to be added to each utility bill beginning in January 2025. This will generate approximately $510,000 during FY2025. The fee amount is proposed to be reduced for the 2025-26 fiscal year to $10 per month, and then indexed each year in December based on inflation as calculated in CPU-West Region; and

• The City will place an Arts and Culture Operating Levy on the ballot(s) in 2024-25 to support the Independence Public Library, the Independence Heritage Museum, and City parks. This will generate $1.065 million per year and translates to a rate of $1.82/$1,000 assessed value or about $548 per year on a home valued at $300,000. If this levy fails, the City will begin to close those departments that would have been funded by the levy.

The city council will review and further discuss the city budget at their June 11, 2024 meeting, with an additional opportunity for public testimony.

To learn more and read the proposed city budget, visit: