West U Looking for Resident Input on Proposed Budget

The West U City Council will hold a public hearing next week to hear comments for or against the city’s proposed 2014 budget.

The budget public hearing will be held on Thursday, Sept. 26 at 6 p.m. in the council chamber, 3800 University Blvd. View the proposed budget here.

The proposed budget accounts for $32.4 million in expenditures and $34.4 million in revenues.

The proposed budget is expected to raise more total property taxes than last year’s budget by $537,848 or 3.43 percent. Of that amount, $116,637 is tax revenue to be raised from new property added to the tax roll this year.

Property taxes account for 50 percent of the city’s revenue, or $16.3 million.

The proposed general fund budget, which funds almost all city services, accounts for about $14.5 million in revenues and $15.6 million in expenditures.

The largest portion of the general fund accounts for personnel and benefits.

The city is eliminating two full-time positions through attrition due to technology enhancements and increased efficiencies in delivering services. The city will have 123 full time employees in 2014 compared to 125 in 2013.

The city has budgeted for a 3 percent pay-for-performance increase in anniversary dates for city employees. The city has also budgeted $1.7 million for employee health benefits.

The city is budgeting for several capital projects including demolition and rebuild of the animal control shelter, a partial roof replacement on the municipal building, community building re-insulation and senior services heat pump and air handler replacement, Colonial Park concession area enhancement and pump house energy-efficient lighting additions.

The budget also includes replacement of seven public works vehicles.

The city council has set a not-to-exceed tax rate of $0.37411 per $100 valuation, which is the current tax rate as last year but it is higher than the effective tax rate.

The effective tax rate is the rate that would raise the same amount of revenue for the city as last year.

West U residents may pay more in property tax rates in 2014 even though the city’s tax rate may decrease due to the increase in appraised property values.

The proposed rate for 2014 is $.037400 per $100 value. The 2013 tax rate was $0.37411 per $100 , which is a proposed rate reduction of .00011.

The city will also hold a tax rate public hearing on Sept. 26 at 6 p.m. A second tax rate public hearing will be held on Sept. 30.

The city council is expected to approve the budget and tax rate on Oct. 7.

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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