WESTBROOK — Mayor Mike Foley said the city is working on its second consecutive budget with no tax increase in light of the pandemic’s economic impact on residents.

The budget is still in its early stages and likely will make its way to the City Council in late March or early April.

With no increase, the property tax rate would sit at $17.86 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. The owner of a $250,000 home would continue to pay $4,465 in taxes.

“We are hoping to possibly get local government assistance from Congress as they discuss future relief measures, which will also help us to weather the challenges,” Foley said.

The state also is working on various relief bills, and any state funds the city would receive would help “cover lost revenues and cuts made to get through this time,” he said.

“There have been lots of funds made available for schools and transportation, though none at this time to help balance the (municipal) losses,” Foley said.

Foley said the city estimated it would receive about $845,000 less than previous years for fiscal year 2021, “though some of those revenue lines have held stronger than regionally forecasted, and based on the proposed state budget, revenues are planned to be flat from this past year.”

This fiscal year’s $29.8 million city budget authorized the use of city reserve funds to offset expected revenue losses from the coronavirus pandemic and cut nine positions across city departments. It is $184,000, or 0.61%, less than the municipal budget two years back.

Positions cut for a total of $448,876 in savings were the city communications manager, an emerging technology librarian, a police secretary, a parking and animal control officer, an administrative assistant, a project funds specialist and two learning assistants and an art instructor for summer camps and extra school programs.

The city also has an ongoing hiring freeze.

“We will continue to keep positions vacant to help balance the budget and consider elimination for the upcoming budget,” Foley said.

The School Department is also working on its budget.

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