City of York Budget Process 2
A few weeks ago, the council was presented with a working draft of the proposed budget. This document includes revenue projections from various sources, operating expenses by department/fund and proposed capital expenditures.
Before receiving this document, the mayor and city administrator have gone through an initial round of cuts/additions to what the department heads are requesting. Then the mayor presents his request in this form to the council. At this point, the council has begun the process of reviewing the over 200 page document. We have the opportunity to ask questions, eliminate/adjust proposed budgets based on what the council deems as the best interest of the city. We have begun the process by looking at the proposed capital expenditures, and will likely move into the operating costs portion of the budget.
At the last budget meeting, we went through the long list of capital items and pulled out ones that council members wanted to have further discussion on. With the many areas that city government is involved in, there are many capital expenses that just have to be done (some of which are mandated by state/federal government) and there's not a lot of discussion needed. To move the process along, anything the council is in agreement on, won't need further discussion. At any point any council member wants to address an expense item, they can request to have that pulled out, and it will be discussed at a future meeting. This process helps narrow down the list for discussion purposes.
This process will look at the needs of the city, as well as projected revenue streams, and at the end of it we will end up with a balanced budget. One of the big pieces of information we have yet to receive is the property valuations from the county assessor. This is due to the city on August 20th. At that point, we'll be able to have a better idea what the levy will be. My personal goal is to keep the net amount of property tax that tax payers actually pay at a breakeven, or even decrease. With the many proposed increases by the assessor's office I've been hearing, I'm anticipating an increase in the city's valuation base. Absent actual growth, this would mean the property tax levy would need to decrease in order for people's property tax bill to stay the same/decrease. Once we get that information, the council will be able to adopt a levy.
Key future dates: August 31st will be the public hearing on the budget. If anyone wants to provide comment on the final budget, this would be the day to attend. There are a handful of public council budget work sessions in August if anyone is interested in attending as well. Those dates are published in the newspaper. September 7th will be the date the council adopts the budget and property tax request, with the new budget year starting October 1st.