MILLVILLE - City Commission voted 5-0 on Tuesday to approve a $15.4 million transitional budget that will finance local government operations until the end of the year.

City government needed a transitional fiscal plan because it is switching to a calendar year budget in 2014.

The budget approved by City Commission covers the period from July 1 through Dec. 31.

The budget approved Tuesday leaves the local purpose tax rate at $1.26 per $100 of assessed property value. The average home in Millville is assessed at $126,695. That means the average property owner pays $1,596 in local purpose taxes under the transitional year budget.

City Commission James Quinn said this is the fourth year in a row that the city has held the local purpose tax rate at $1.26.

The stable tax rate situation comes despite the municipality going through a "tough couple of years" with the economy, City Commissioner David Vanaman said.

Part of the reason why the city managed to keep the local purpose tax rate stable is because of more advance planning to eliminate "spikes" in the rate, Mayor Tim Shannon said.

"This is out best budget," City Commissioner Dale Finch said.

The transitional year spending plan raises $9.3 million through taxation.

The city has used a fiscal year budget for about 22 years.

The change to a calendar year budget is the second major change city government is undergoing. The city moved its nonpartisan elections - in which City Commission candidates do not run under a political party - to November this year.

The change will also have some impact on the budget: The municipality will save about $80,000 by moving the election from May to November.

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