City Manager, Leon Towarnicki, presented a proposed budget for FY 2024 to City Council during Tuesday night's meeting that includes a 10.9% increase in general fund revenue.
Overview of Funds
The increase in revenue is a result of an increase in general property taxes (as the budget proposes no adjustment to the real estate tax rate), other local taxes, recovered cost, shared expenses, and other state reimbursements. The increased revenue addresses an 11.2% increase in health insurance, salaries and benefits, and the impact of continued inflation on fuel, materials, and supplies and its impact on projects.
The total proposed budget is $109,892,325, an increase of $4,047,643 from the original FY23 budget. The proposed general fund budget is $37,828,870 compared to $37,062,878 for FY 23 a 2.07% increase. Around $1.5 million of ARPA funding would be used to fill the budget's funding deficit. The budget also does not propose any transfer of funds from Electric, Water, Sewer, Refuse, or Telecom.
Taxes, Rates, and Fees
The budget proposes keeping the real estate tax rate at the current rate of $1.04/$100, utilizing the anticipated increase in real estate tax revenue resulting from higher assessments. The budget also includes an 8% average electric rate increase effective July 1, and the likelihood that another rate increase will be necessary in January 2024.
The budget recommends $5,417,637 in funding for schools, which is a reduction of $750,000 from their request of $6,167,637 in local funding. However, that amount is still $339,854 more than the average audited actual local contribution to school funding for the most recent 4-year period of FY19 – FY22. The actual audited school contribution in FY22 was $4,940,076.
Personnel and Services
City employees and constitutionals would receive a 7% cost of living adjustment in effort to match the state's adjustment. The adjustment would help employees cover the increase in health insurance costs and allow the City to remain competitive in salaries. The budget includes 1 personnel addition and a temporary hiring freeze in certain areas.
The proposed budget is a working draft for the next fiscal year which begins on July 1, 2023. Council will conduct a public hearing during the May 9th City Council meeting on the effective real estate tax rate increase resulting from increased assessments. Council will set a date for a public hearing on the FY 24 budget during the May 9th meeting.
The following work sessions have been scheduled:
- May 10: Schools, City departments, and capital
- May 16: City departments, constitutionals, outside agencies
- May 17: follow up, and additional discussion as may be needed
The proposed budget and presentation are available here.