FY2012 Priority Allocations
UPDATED: Fiscal year 2012 projected revenue will be two percent above that of fiscal year 2011 totaling $258.6 million – a $6 million increase. Revenue stability will alleviate some past painful budget decisions of the past.
The slight uptick in revenue will not get your leaves picked up this fall or bulk and brush collection returned to weekly pickup. That is probably gone forever.
Bulk and brush collection remains the same at every other week. So does the hotly debated bus schedule. Peak morning and late afternoon/evening runs will stay on a thirty-minute schedule. The colleges though will not carry students downtown unless the colleges want to pay for it.
TAP and Blue Ridge Behavior Health will be funded. The city has shrunk the government by 188 positions since the budge crunch began. Employees are working harder but are not getting a raise. The City Manager Chris Morrill will advise city council if employees can get a one-time stipend in their next budget work session on May 9.
Some fees will be reduced. For downtown residents there will be no more free parking. They first were allowed to park two vehicles free. That was reduced to one vehicle and having to pay for the second parking space.
Now with one car they will receive a 75 percent discount on parking garages and lots. Decals will be issued and on street parking will also be provided. Two cars get a real deal and cost less then paying full price for the second vehicle. The second parking space fee was $45 a month. Where now they will pay 25% for a combination of two vehicles that amounts to $22.50 for two versus $45 for one second vehicle. If they have one vehicle it will cost them $11.25 for a space.
Council member Lea made a point that “this city council has stepped up to the plate” in their extra funding for the schools. Shawver said that even in tough city revenue times they were able to assist the schools by $3 million. “We are living up to our responsibilities,” she said.
Property taxes are up by five percent above forecast as is sales and meals taxes.
Court Rosen asked about funding of the Budget Stabilization Reserve and Undesignated Fund balance. Shawver confirmed that $250,000 would be placed in both.
City Manager, Chris Morrill bemoaned an increase in traffic signal sign changes mandated by the state. “It is another state unfunded mandate the city will have to pick up,” he said.
Maintenance of city facilities will be stepped up even sidewalk repairs.
Director of Finance Ann Shawver cautioned that revenue could turn south in an instant.
The area of concern is real estate taxes. This tax comprises 30 percent of the city’s revenue. Real estate valuations are falling throughout the region. At the time of a home sale the actual sales price is compared to its assessed value. The goal is that the assessed value is 95 percent of the sales price. Overall city adjustments to the assessed value of property would possibly bring Roanoke another revenue crisis.
With foreclosures and short-sales pressuring home values there is a very real possibility the city’s revenue could take a hit. Time will tell said Shawver.
CLICK HERE for the slide presentation by the Director of Finance Ann Shawver and Amelia Merchent, Director of Management and Budget .
At the 7:00 p.m. council session Monday School Board Chairman David Carson and School Board member Lori Vaught were reappointed for another term.
Posted By Valerie Garner
Categories: Finance, Politics, Roanoke City Politics
Tags: budget, city_council