The council discussed the 2015 budget thoroughly before passing a new 2015 budget for Missoula. It would include increasing fire inspections by 3 percent, increasing a wastewater industrial interceptor variance permit fee by 3 percent, and an increase of 3 percent for services such as building permits, business licensing and other permits regarding construction.
One thing that took the council by surprise was the lack of support for an increase with the police budget.
A police supporter explained where the money would go. "Would have provided monies to the Police Department, for our new SVU unit, the rental of the property at 400 Ryman, along with a new detective and the DOJ compliance money we were required to do for that."
A special public safety and justice tax district aims to fund police and fire improvements like updated equipment and an improved police facility.
The special tax district is currently in a protest period. If owners representing 10 percent of taxable property in the district file a protest, the proposal will go to a vote in November. If more than 50 percent is protested then the tax district is killed. The protest period ends June 20.
The city has already received protests from property owners representing 12.78 percent of taxable property.
With a passed 2015 budget, taxpayers can plan to pay more next year. A person who owns a home worth $250,000 is expected to pay around $23 more per year.
One council member said this is the lowest budget he has ever seen passed.