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Gainesville OKs 2016-17 budget with no tax increase
Spending up nearly 9 percent
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No tax or water/sewer rate increases are planned in the 2016-17 budget approved by the Gainesville City Council on Tuesday night.

The $33.5 million budget marks an 8.9 percent, or about $2.8 million, increase in spending for the new fiscal year beginning July 1.

Officials have said new spending is a result of increased property tax revenues, which are up 4.4 percent, while the city has seen a 21.4 percent increase in permit and inspection fees resulting from new commercial and residential growth.

“It was a strong year for the city of Gainesville,” City Manager Bryan Lackey said.

The additional revenue will be applied in several areas, including more than $600,000 for raises and one-time $1,000 bonuses to employees.

New positions are proposed in information technology, community development and stormwater inspection, with total departmental expenditures up 3.8 percent.

The fund balance has increased to $4.1 million from $2.3 million in the proposed budget and will be applied to capital projects, which has a $14 million tag, double the funding from the current year.

They include traffic improvements and road beautification projects, equipment purchases and IT upgrades, and start-up funding for a land bank to address local housing and blighted properties.

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