It’s budget season, and here are some key dates to keep in mind in the weeks ahead …
- Oct. 10: Executive budget review, 6 p.m.
- Oct. 25: Proposed budget published.
- Nov. 20: Public hearing on proposed budget, 6 p.m.
- Nov. 21: City Council meets to adopt budget, 7 p.m.
All meetings are at City Hall, and I encourage you to be part of the debate.
Remember, we will be preparing two budgets this year, one accounting for the two potential results of the Nov. 7 public safety referendum.
Both versions will be bring some amount of pain, as we face continued challenges due to rising costs and reduced revenues.
To illustrate this, I give you two numbers around the property tax levy, our biggest source of operating revenue, and the impact of state-imposed levy limits …
- $10,774,142: the amount of our 2017 operating levy.
- $9,688: the amount we are allowed to increase that levy in 2018.
So, we are faced with essentially no increase. Again.
This is a challenge (and many other fully developed, small-growth communities) have been confronted with for a decade. We have met this challenge with responsible budgets that have done their best to preserve our core city services. That is getting increasingly difficult, and our budgets in recent years have reflected that.
And barring reasonable changes to levy limit law, this will continue to be the case for 2018 and the years ahead.
This is our reality. The budget is that reality in writing.
I encourage you to learn more throughout the budget process this fall.