The City recently approved its Fiscal Year 2021-22 Budget, simultaneously including an Omnibus Amended Budget for the 2020-21 year, as has become practice. The general budget is prepared by the administration and its department heads, along with the Budget and Finance Department, and then presented to the City Council for approval.
The council held three lengthy budget hearings the week of April 12, before approving it by a 5-2 vote during its regular meeting on April 20.
The new 2021-22 budget is projected to add nearly $72,000 to the unassigned fund balance, or rainy day fund, which is estimated to total $8,829,817. That is approximately 21 percent of the total budget. Eight years ago when the Sollars Administration came into power, the City was running a structural deficit of approximately $5M and was in danger of receivership.
Several factors in this budget should be noted. It maintains a fund balance of over 20 percent without including any American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) future funding. Published estimates have Taylor receiving as much as $12M in ARPA funding sometime this year. During this budget process, department heads submitted a significant amount of requests for capital outlays that were not included in the proposal. Those will be reconsidered when the ARPA funding is officially allocated. Lastly, the budget does not include any costs related to union contracts currently being negotiated.
Some important takeaways:
- The proposed City tax rate of 25.9592 mills is estimated to decrease 0.13 mills from the fiscal year 2020-21 tax rate.
- The Act 345 levy, Act 179 levy and Building Authority levy are based upon obligations of the City and can increase and decrease annually based on the obligation amount. The Fiscal Year
- 2021-2022 amounts for these obligations were estimated at the time of publishing this report. The Act 345 levy, which funds the obligations related to police and fire retiree expenditures is expected to increase by 0.2 mills. The EPA judgement levy which is related to bond debt has been removed since the debt is minimal now.
- The City’s total taxable value of real and personal property is estimated to be $1,418,241,616 which is an increase of approximately $35,273,000 or 2.5 percent. Even though assessed values have increased at a higher rate, taxable values are limited to the statutory limits according to Proposal A and the Headlee Amendment.
Overall, general fund revenues are expected to increase by $400,615 or 1.9 percent. General fund expenditures are expected to decrease by 2,438,771 or 5.5 percent. Below are changes in excess of 10.0 percent compared to the 2020-21 projected budget, as well as other significant items. (Download the entire budget for explanations and more details.)
- City Clerk expenditures are expected to decrease by $80,750 or 17.3 percent.
- Communication and Media (new department) expenditures are expected to increase by $150,315 or 1,148.7 percent.
- General Administration expenditures are expected to decrease by $564,236 or 62.4 percent.
- Fire department expenditures are expected to decrease by $1,069,420 or 15.7 percent.
- Street lighting expenditures are expected to decrease by $404,000 or 22.4 percent.
- Senior Center expenditures are expected to decrease by $31,831 or 12.3 percent.
- Total Parks Administration expenditures are expected to decrease and be reallocated.
- Recreation Center expenditures are expected to increase by $27,200 or 10.2 percent.
- TSX expenditures are expected to increase by $484,264 or 51.6 percent.
- General Debt Service expenditures are expected to decrease by $369,132 or 44.2 percent.
- Other financing sources expenditures are expected to decrease by $445,000 or 64.9 percent.
For more in-depth information, see budget and amendments. That page also offers in-depth information on special revenue funds and enterprise funds.