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05/14/2019

Council approves $42 million municipal budget for 2020

The Town Council on May 13, 2019 unanimously approved a $42 million combined municipal budget for fiscal 2019-20.

The general-fund budget for town, school and county services is up 6.5 percent over this year, and poses a tax rate of $19.76, up 3.9 percent over this year. [jump to summary][download summary]. The 74-cent tax-rate increase would add $259 to the bill on a home valued at $350,000.

The budget includes $300,000 in net revenues anticipated from a parking-fee program at Fort Williams Park, also approved by the council May 13. The program establishes parking fees for out-of-town visitors from May 1-Nov. 1.

The budget also includes $189,000 for a school-facilities needs assessment, recommended by a study committee representing a wide variety of stakeholders. The committee met four times this fall to tour facilities, conduct interviews and to determine whether a formal assessment is needed. Last year's school-budget proposal included $249,000 for an engineering and architectural feasibility study, but the council did not approve that funding, calling instead for more community involvement in determining the need. [news article]

As they did at the May 6 public hearing, councilors lauded the collaborative approach officials took in developing the $26,890,420 school budget. A subcommittee that included the chairs and finance chairs of the council and School Board, as well as the town manger, school superintendent and school business manager, met three times this fall and winter to exchange ideas and to find efficiencies. "We've reached the end of budget season but we haven't reached the end of responsibly managing the town's finances," said Town Council Chair Jamie Garvin. "I think we've set good model with the joint subcommittee approach that we're taking, and look forward to continuing with that," he said. He also credit the School Board for continually keeping not only students and staff in mind during budget worshops, but also the impact on taxpayers.

The school portion of the budget is subject to approval in a townwide validation referendum June 11. Absentee voting is underway at Town Hall through 4 p.m. Thursday, June 6. [news article]

Here is the summary of the budget approved May 13:

Budget Summary
Fiscal Year  2020

         
  FY 2019 FY 2020 $ Change % Change
   BUDGET  BUDGET FY 19  to FY 20 FY 19 to FY 20
EXPENDITURES        
TOTAL MUNICIPAL  $      12,368,374  $      13,388,395  $        1,020,021 8.2%
COUNTY ASSESSMENT  $        1,392,240  $        1,456,670  $             64,430 4.6%
Local Homestead Exemption  $           300,000  $           300,000  $                    -   0.0%
SCHOOL DEPARTMENT  $      25,392,276  $      26,890,420  $        1,498,144 5.9%
   $      39,452,890  $      42,035,485  $        2,582,595 6.5%
         
REVENUE        
TOTAL MUNICIPAL  $        5,032,007  $        5,513,400  $           481,393 9.6%
FWP PAY AND DISPLAY REVENUE    $           300,000  $           300,000  
SCHOOL DEPARTMENT  $        1,768,977  $        2,098,487  $           329,510 18.6%
TOTAL  $        6,800,984  $        7,911,887  $        1,110,903 16.3%
         
NET TO TAXES        
TOWN  SERVICES  $        7,336,367  $        7,574,995  $           238,628 3.3%
Local Homestead Exemption  $           300,000  $           300,000  $                    -   0.0%
COUNTY ASSESSMENT  $        1,392,240  $        1,456,670  $             64,430 4.6%
SCHOOL DEPARTMENT  $      23,623,299  $      24,791,933  $        1,168,634 4.9%
TOTAL  $      32,651,906  $      34,123,598  $        1,471,692 4.5%
         
TAX RATES (Rounded to nearest ¢)        
 Local Homestead Exemption  $                0.17  $                0.17  $                    -   0.0%
TOTAL MUNICIPAL  $                4.27  $                4.39  $                0.11 2.6%
COUNTY ASSESSMENT  $                0.81  $                0.84  $                0.03 4.0%
SCHOOL DEPARTMENT  $              13.76  $              14.36  $                0.60 4.4%
TOTAL  $              19.02  $              19.76  $                0.74 3.9%
         
TAX RATE VALUATION BASIS  $ 1,716,471,800  $ 1,727,000,000  $  10,528,200.00 0.6%