The City of Brighton has received over $400,000 in largely unanticipated revenues, and the question now before the City Council is where to spend it — or whether to sock it away for a rainy day.

That’s just one of the items being discussed these days at a series of City Council budget workshops. Two such meetings were held this past week and at least one more is scheduled - on Tuesday, April 17th.

According to City Manager Nate Geinzer, The unexpected revenue includes $195,000 in personal property tax reimbursements from the state, $180,000 from a greater number of building permits than anticipated, and $33,400 more in state revenue sharing. Geinzer tells WHMI that — although there are many pressing needs, particularly to replace worn out city equipment - he is placing the revenue in the reserved fund category rather than opting to spend it now.

The tentative general fund budget for 18-19 is $8.75 million, up about a quarter-of-a-million dollars from the 17-18 fiscal year. The city of Brighton is heavily dependent on the property tax; in fact, 72% of its revenue comes from that source. However, property taxes are down substantially from what they were before the recession hit in 2008. The average property tax bill that year was $1,550, but by 2013 they had dropped to $1,085, a nearly $500 drop per property on average. To make up for the lost revenue, the city has had to make substantial cuts as well as come up with other ways to create revenue. Although property taxes are starting to rise again they are nowhere near the level they were at in 2007, just before the recession hit.

For fiscal 2018-19, the city is projected to receive $6.3 million from local property taxes, including penalties and interest — a 4% increase. Taxable values in the city are up 3.85% on real property and 3.14% on personal property, an increase of $243,000 over the prior year. The proposed 2018-19 city budget can be viewed online by going to and scrolling down under the category “Reference Desk”.

The budget is expected to be formally adopted at the first or second meeting in May. (TT)