City will Push for 34 Mills Public Safety Levy
The Billings City Council has approved placing a $7.1 million mill levy on the November 2 ballot for public safety. A study has found that public safety is a high priority of citizens, concerned about the increase in crime in Billings.
If it passes the increase in mills will be part of a $434 million budget that was also passed by the Billings City Council. The city’s budget has been bolstered this year by COVID relief funds which allocated money to specific needs that then freed up funds for other needs. The budget includes $11.6 million to purchase the Stillwater Building, as well as $80 million for a new westend water treatment plant and $18 million to construct the Inner Belt Loop and Skyline Trail, and an additional $7 million for the airport expansion.
An increase in the public safety funds will allow an additional $800,000 for the police department, in addition to more funding for enforcement of the recently rewritten building codes, the court system with the development of a law and justice center, and more services for mental health and substance abuse. It will also help fund a new division of the fire department that will be dedicated to responding to Emergency Medical Service calls.
If voters approve the proposed 34 mill increase it will add about $100 a year in property taxes on a $200,000 home in Billings.