City Council held a public hearing and first reading on the City’s proposed FY 2018-2019 budget at its formal meeting this afternoon. The proposed budget for all funds is $200,482,598, including a General Fund budget of $89,007,085. This represents an overall budgetary increase of 8.8% and a General Fund increase of 3.4% from the adopted FY 2017-2018 operating budget. The City’s budget does not include a tax increase. The General Fund millage rate for FY 2018-2019 remains the same at 85.3 mills.
According to City Manager John Castile, the proposed budget continues the City’s focus on community assets; people, equipment, and technology needed to deliver high-quality municipal services; and public/private partnerships designed to improve the city’s economic health and vibrancy. The proposed budget includes $23,851,311 for the City’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP), a multi-year plan to forecast future public improvements and facilities in the city, which maintains stepped-up levels for streets, sidewalks, and commercial corridors and includes an investment of more than $10 million in infrastructure improvements.
Budget highlights include:
The proposed budget features a combined $7.6 million in the CIP for parking, wastewater, and stormwater projects, including more than $6 million in projects to address water quality in the city of Greenville; $4.6 million across all funds for rolling stock; and $1.1 million across all funds for capital such as technology, buildings, and equipment. In addition to public safety service enhancements, the proposed budget also includes an additional $100,000 in direct funding to Greenville Transit Authority and continued funding for the expanded trolley service. Additionally, the budget includes a 3% employee merit increase and the addition of 13 new positions.
Property taxes are the City’s largest revenue source and comprise 44% of all General Fund revenues. The estimate for FY 2018-2019 is $38.9 million. Licenses and permits are the second largest revenue source and comprise 43% of all General Fund revenues. The estimate for FY 2018-2019 is $37.8 million.
The City maintains the highest credit rating from all three major ratings agencies and remains the only municipality in the state with that distinction. The City projects that the General Fund fund balance will be approximately $6.7 million over the 20% required reserve at the end of FY 2018-2019.
“The proposed budget is designed to reflect City Council priorities, set the framework for addressing short and long-term needs, and provide funding to implement City initiatives,” said Castile. “The City’s financial condition remains solid, with healthy fund balances for all funds, and our strong financial position allows us fiscal flexibility as we continue to address issues associated with growth such as public transportation, affordable housing, and traffic congestion.”
Second reading and adoption of the budget is scheduled for May 14 at 5:30 p.m. in City Council chambers.