Midvale City Council adopts Tentative Budget
Jun 10, 2016 10:32AM
● By Bryan Scott
On May 3, 2016, the Midvale City Council adopted the Tentative Budget for Fiscal Year 2017 (beginning July 1, 2016 and ending June 30, 2017). The Council is reviewing the proposed budget in detail with Department Directors during each Council Meeting through June.
The General Fund budget, the main budget of the City, totals $17,658,600. This is a decrease of $596,400 from the prior year budget, which included several large capital projects. Even though operating costs are increasing due to inflation, existing revenues are staying fairly flat. The City has been able to cover cost increases over the past six years, but in order to continue providing vital services such as public safety and road maintenance, a property tax increase is necessary.
The tentative budget calls for a property tax increase, the first since Calendar year 2010. City staff is recommending an increase of 150%, which equates to $8 per month ($100 per year) on a $200,000 home.
Funding road maintenance is one of our most pressing issues. The Utah State Legislature increased the statewide Gas Tax by 5 cents per gallon effective January 1, 2016, adding $150,000 per year to the City for road maintenance; however, Salt Lake County voters rejected a .25% general sales tax for transportation, which would have provided the City with an additional $540,000. The budget for road maintenance is $800,000 this year, up from $530,000 in FY 2016. The desired funding level for road maintenance is $1.5 million per year.
Another critical funding issue is the increasing cost of public safety. The City saved $500,000 per year by joining the Unified Police Department in FY 2012. Costs of providing police service have increased an average of five percent, or $250,000 - $300,000 per year. With continuing growth in our City, we can anticipate similar increases in the future.
The following graphs illustrate where General Fund revenues come from and how they are spent:
The proposed tax rate for Midvale City (including taxes paid directly to Fire and Police agencies), remains in the middle of the range of property tax rates assessed by Salt Lake County municipalities. The graph below illustrates those rates.
Bonds issued by the City’s Enterprise Funds require us to maintain revenues equal to 125% of expenditures in each fund. In order to comply, the Council is considering increasing water revenue by eliminating the 4,000 gallons of water included with the base fee. Base rates would be decreased, and users would be billed for each 1,000 gallons of water consumed. This billing structure encourages conservation, complying with recommendations from the state. The 4,000 gallon allowance would also be eliminated for sewer rates. For the average residence, the monthly increase would be $4 for water and $6 for sewer.
Staff also recommends increasing the storm water fee by 5%, less than $5 per month for a residential property. No rate increases are proposed for Garbage or Street Lighting fees.
We encourage everyone to come to a public hearing on the proposed budget on June 21, 2016. The Fiscal Year 2017 budget is available on the City’s website (www.midvalecity.org). You may also call the Finance Director at (801)-567-7238 if you have questions.