Hearing on proposed city budget set for MondayPublished 8:40pm Saturday, May 11, 2013
Washington residents may provide input on the city’s proposed 2013-2014 budget during a public hearing Monday.
The hearing, which begins at 6 p.m., is part of the City Council’s tentative agenda for its meeting, which starts at 5:30 p.m.
The proposed city budget keeps the property-tax rate at its current level, according to City Manager Josh Kay’s recommended $64 million overall budget.
That tax rate is 50 cents per $100 valuation. That means the annual tax on a $100,000 house remains at $500. The proposed budget also keeps electric, water and sewer rates at current levels.
The City Council has final say on the budget, which takes effect July 1.
The overall budget includes a $15 million general fund, which covers day-to-day operations of city government. It also includes a $36 million electric fund, a $1.58 million reduction when compared to the current electric fund.
Kay’s proposed budget advocates transferring $470,000 from the electric fund to the general fund, a $376,121 decrease when compared to the transfer in the current budget. The council has been working toward eventually eliminating the transfer. Several years ago, that annual transfer was slightly more than $1 million.
Also included in the proposed budget is a change in the city’s business-license fee schedule, which was OK’d by a nonbinding straw poll by the council Thursday. The council has been considering modifications to the existing fee schedule for several weeks.
Under the proposal, 300 businesses in the city would pay less for businesses licenses, with only three paying more for businesses licenses. However, adopting the proposed fee schedule would reduce revenue generated by the business licenses by nearly $320,000. To make up that loss of revenue, the city plans to decrease some expenses, increase revenues in other areas and use installment financing to pay for some capital projects and equipment instead of paying cash for them.
The proposed budget would provide more funds to market the city than Kay’s initial recommended budget allocated. To provide the extra money for that marketing effort, the council decided to defer some other project and programs.