FY 2018 Balanced Budget and No Increase in Taxes

06 Jun FY 2018 Balanced Budget and No Increase in Taxes

Beaufort City Council reviews balanced budget No tax hike due to revenue growth and tight controls on spending

Public hearing and City Council votes set:

June 13: Public hearing on FY 2018 Budget in City Council meeting, then first reading on the budget ordinance in City Council meeting

June 27: Second reading on FY 2018 budget ordinance

Slight increases in anticipated revenue to the City of Beaufort along with tight controls on spending make for a balanced budget that allows for appropriate and expected levels of service across the historic city, City Manager Bill Prokop said.

The city estimates it will bring in about 7.8 percent more revenue during fiscal year 2018 compared to FY2017 which ends June 30.

The public is invited to comment about the proposed budget June 13 during the regular City Council meeting, after which first reading of the budget ordinance is scheduled. City Hall is located at 1911 Boundary Street.

The FY2018 budget continues the trend of recent years with limited increases and recovery in property values and revenues matched with the pressures of increased expenses for both core services and economic development activities, Prokop wrote in the budget presentation to City Council.

“The budget is balanced and provides for increases in core services and the building of sustainable economic development programs without increasing property, debt, hospitality and accommodations taxes, refuse or stormwater fees,” he said.

Key points of the proposed FY2018 budget include:

· It continues the process of taking the City down the path toward long-term financial sustainability

· It identifies and funds vital services that are important to the community

· It enables the implementation of the five major goals of the City and other important Council objectives

· It allows the City to reinvest in infrastructure

· And it provides employees with the tools, equipment, and training needed to deliver services in the most effective way.

The 2018 budget doesn’t require any increase in the City’s tax rate and maintains adequate reserves in the fund balance to ensure sound fiscal integrity of the City, in addition to meeting the criteria of the leading credit rating agencies, said Kathy Todd, City of Beaufort finance director.

“The proposed budget includes resources that will allow the City to provide a high level of public safety services to all our residents, including the newly annexed areas,” Todd said.

Equally important, the proposed budget “begins to address a significant backlog of existing infrastructure and facility deficiencies,” she said, “as well as initiating a capital leasing program for the fleet and heavy equipment needs for the aging vehicle stock.”

The recommended budget can be viewed on the City’s website at www.cityofbeaufort.org