FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
City Manager Jason Gage hosted the first in a series of City Council budget workshops Tuesday, April 25. Gage and Finance Director David Holtmann first presented an overview of the remaining financial picture for the City’s current 2022-2023 fiscal year, which runs through June 30. An overview of City revenues will be presented at council’s next budget workshop at 11:30 a.m. May 2.
The largest individual segment of the City’s operations is supported by the General Fund, (approximately $110 million), which covers most police and fire operations, public works, planning and development, building development services, and all administrative support services.
These activities are funded by four major General Fund revenue sources: sales and use tax, payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs), other taxes, and licenses and fines. The General Fund is the primary focus of the City’s annual budget process because it funds many of the high-profile citizen services (e.g., those listed above) and is the revenue source that provides the most flexibility in use by City Council.
“As always, the total budget requests I received from our departments exceed our available funding,” said City Manager Jason Gage. “All the requests are needed and would improve the service we are able to provide our citizens; however, funding is limited.
“City Council’s priorities of public safety, fiscal sustainability, quality of place, and economic vitality have guided my efforts in the development of the FY2024 budget. In support of City Council’s priority of fiscal sustainability, this budget preserves the City’s financial stability while continuing to provide quality vital services to our community. In addition, there is continued emphasis on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the development review process to enhance our overall development competitiveness and significantly improve our nuisance abatement and dangerous structures process to ensure neighborhood stability and addressing City Council’s priority of quality of place.”
The focus of this FY2024 budget is to address City Council priorities , employee recruitment and retention, the impact of inflation, and critical positions (listed below). Other ongoing needs include absorbing the Telecable fund positions and supplies, technology needs, and ongoing building maintenance and supplies. In addition, some critical one-time needs are funded by carry-over funds. This includes fire equipment and life-safety needs, police equipment, a building development services vehicle, building maintenance needs to preserve our facilities, information systems infrastructure needs, and investment in economic vitality activities.
Other factors taken into consideration when developing the FY2024 budget include:
- Current sales/use tax revenues are trending above budget. Over the last 12 months, actual revenues are up 9.2% compared to the prior 12 months.
- Payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) are 7.6% above budget.
- Gross receipts and other taxes are estimated to come in 10.2% above budget through year-end.
- FY2023 total General Fund revenues are expected to end the year 9.6% above budget.
- Anticipated slowing growth due to inflationary and geopolitical concerns.
All taxes and PILOTs account for approximately 86% of the total revenue in the General Fund.
As much as possible, the budget attempts to address funding needs within all areas of the organization. A total of $20 million in budget requests were submitted by the City departments, including a total of $10 million for ongoing costs. In all, Gage’s proposed budget has been able to fund almost $8 million to fund ongoing costs and $3 million to fund one-time requests. A total of 62% of the new ongoing funding is proposed for pay plan improvements.
About the City’s Budget Process
The annual budget is a plan – a financial proposal that directs the provision of public services and facilities. The services provided by a public organization are based on the available revenues (funds) from all sources as approved in its annual budget.
The City’s budget process is led by the City Manager, who is required by the City Charter, to present a proposed balanced budget to City Council by May 1. The series of budget workshops allow City Council time to review and discuss the City Manager’s proposed budget and to approve the budget before the new fiscal year begins on July 1 each year.
The following general principles have been followed in the financial management of the City and in the development of the annual budget. These policies have been developed to guide the City in delivering a consistent level of service, while maintaining a stable financial position and equitable tax structure.
- Financial Planning Policies (including operating with a balanced budget)
- Revenue Policies (such as fees for services paid for by those receiving the services to recover the cost of providing the services)
- Expenditure Policies (such as providing the best service possible given revenue constraints and maintaining adequate cash reserves.
The FY2024 proposed budget attempts to address funding needs within all areas of the organization. Over the last 10 years, law enforcement and public safety have been the clear funding priority.
Throughout the budget workshop process (May 1-June 30), the public has access to the proposed budget and the later adopted budget online at Springfieldmo.gov/Budget and at Springfieldmo.gov/OpenData (the City’s data portal). Printed copies of the proposed budget are available at the cost of printing.
The City Council lunch workshops are open to the public, live streamed from the CityofSGF Facebook site and on springfieldmo.gov.
For more information, contact Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, at 417-380-3352 or [email protected].