The 2020 budget for the City of Fishers has been approved.
The Fishers Common Council approved the $119 million budget with a unanimous vote at its Oct. 21 meeting, highlights of which include a 3 percent pay increase for city employees and a property tax increase of 2 cents per every $100 of assessed value.
Overall, the city is putting $2 million into its rainy-day fund and filling its general fund with $71.3 million. Approximately $18.6 million is budgeted for 2020’s debt service.
The budget also includes plans for hiring a police officer and a full-time body-word camera coordinator in the police department, a full-time agri-park manager and two full-time parks laborers.
Although no citizens spoke for or against the proposed budget at the public hearing during the council’s September meeting, Fishers resident and at-large council candidate Jocelyn Vare used the citizen comments portion of the meeting to express her concern.
“The 2020 budget was approved tonight, and the fact is, it did include the fifth consecutive property tax rate increase in five years,” she said. “It is very reasonable for residents to question the necessity of having to pay more in taxes again. There is a push and pull of residents wanting to keep taxes as low as possible and the municipality wanting to accomplish and fund things for the residents. This should be a full conversation that includes prioritizing, planning and listening. The 2020 budget was not a conversation, nor was the outcome beneficial for all residents.
“What I’ve heard from residents is they feel they should be able to expect, 30 days before the public hearing, a clear, straightforward summary of the proposed budget that is broadcast on all the city channels and submitted to the media, like it used to be. The purpose of that is just to make sure as many residents are as aware as possible. Residents deserve responsibility and accountability, no surprises.”