Tax levy fueling Scottsdale streetlight improvements approved

Scottsdale City Council held a public hearing Tuesday, June 7 on proposed fiscal year 2016-17 municipal streetlight improvement district expenses and property tax levy by district.

The city’s streetlight improvement districts were established beginning in 1971 to allow taxpayers residing in the benefiting area to pay for the operation of the streetlights. The city has 355 streetlight districts formed by petition of the property owners for the sole purpose of purchasing electricity for the lighting of public streets.

For fiscal year 2016-17, the streetlight levy is calculated based solely on estimated energy costs. The proposed streetlight property tax levy for fiscal year 2016-17 is $601,736.

Because fiscal year 2015-16 included a drawdown of reserves which lowered the lvy, the proposed fiscal year 2016-17 levy has increased, according to city council documents posted online.

An estimated $27,000 of reserves will remain — belonging to several of the districts with a zero levy in fsical year 2016-17 — and will continue to drawn down in future fiscal years until all reserve balances are depleted.

Councilmember Virginia Korte made a motion to adopt the proposed fiscal year 2016-17 streetlight property tax levies by ordinance on June 21. Vice Mayor Kathy Littlefield seconded the motion, which carried 7-0.

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