Factors that Affected Revenue Forecasts for FY2004-05 City Budget
Sales tax revenue met, but did not exceed projections.
The Budget Office lowered from 3.25% to 2.5% the projected growth in the property tax base.
Other City revenue sources are projected to decrease (occupation taxes, fees, interest income, in-lieu of taxes).
Mayor Cut $2.4 Million from Spending Requests
In March 2004, the City Departments requested funds totaling more than $130 million for FY2004-05 for the operating budget and capital improvement projects. Mayor Seng cut $2.4 million from the requested amounts, lowering the proposed budget to $125.8 million, or a 4-percent increase.
In addition, City Departments requested $5.2 million of general tax funds for Capital Improvement Projects in FY2004-05. Mayor Seng cut or delayed $3.3 million in proposed capital projects using general funds lowering the amount to $1.9 million next year.
The City Budget would increase from $121 million this year to $125.8 million next year.
Costs the City Cannot Control
Higher fuel costs for Police, Fire, and Public Works vehicles will increase spending $100,000.
Lincoln Public Schools not paying its share of the nearly $800,000 total cost for 15 police officers at schools.
Cost to comply with unfunded federal mandate on storm water requirements is $260,000.
Pershing Center tax subsidy increasing $100,000.
The cost of the County-City Emergency Management Agency following the tornado and storms is expected to rise, but the amount is not yet known.
Actions Taken to Limit a Change in the Tax Rate
City to spend $3.5 million of cash reserves.
City to restructure the financing of street lights, saving $600,000 annually.
Spend $500,000 of unused bond funds from completed Library and Parks projects.
Travel and discretionary funds frozen at current levels.
Antelope Senior Center proposed to close.
Meadowlane Pool evening hours changed to party rental use to increase revenue and reduce expense.
Reduce City subsidy to 911 Center by $240,000 by increasing the telephone surcharge 25 cents.
Property Tax Rate Still Less Than in 2002
The City property tax rate has been reduced 44 percent since 1994 when it was 51.9 cents per $100 of assessed value.
The City property tax rate in FY2002-03 was 31.4 cents per $100 assessed value.
Last summer in the FY2003-04 budget, Mayor Seng proposed and the Council approved cutting the City property tax rate 2.4 cents, lowering the rate to 29 cents.
For the FY2004-05, the City proposes restoring 1 cent.
Separately, one-half cent will be added to the tax rate due to two voter-approved storm water bond issues approved in 2002 and 2003.
The proposed FY2004-05 City property tax rate will still be less than it was in 2002.