IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - The Idaho Falls City Council has a new business approach for its future finances. The problem is the city needs money now and that might mean a tax increase.
The City Council said it will talk with every department head about setting up a savings fund, but at Thursday's meeting the budget was also discussed.
"We have to have good infrastructure. If we fall down in that area then we really need to spend a lot of money," said Ed Marohn, City Council Member.
Marohn said to avoid spending more money the city plans to meet with division heads to council them on the city's new approach.
"The idea is that the division heads will be given more instructions on how they can save money and use those dollars for projects," he said.
Municipal Service Director Craig Rockwood is working with Marohn to figure out how departments can save money.
"What we like to do is come up with a funding source to get started for things that we know are going to wear out, like buildings, things at the aquatic center, playgrounds and restaurants," said Rockwood.
But more money is needed now, not later, for a new fire station, which probably means a tax increase.
"We have put in a 1.5 percent tax levy on Idaho Falls property. It is cost effective more for us then if we wait another two years or another 10 years when construction costs go up," said Marohn.
Marohn said city property tax on a $100,000 property would be about $15 a year. He also said the proposed budget for next fiscal year is $176 million.
There will be a public hearing on the proposed budget on Aug. 24. The City Council will finalize its budget Aug. 28.