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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Springfield City Council approved the City Manager’s $348 million total balanced budget Monday night after five budget hearings over the past several weeks. The General Fund portion of the budget is roughly $83 million and is the City’s primary operating fund. The General Fund covers most Police and Fire operations, Public Works, Planning and Development, Building Development Services and all administrative support functions. It relies on sales and use taxes for the majority of its revenue. Other General Fund revenue sources include the payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) from City Utilities and revenues from licenses, fines, and fees.
Two primary factors made the development of the fiscal year 2018 (FY18) balanced budget (in which projected revenues must equal proposed expenditures) challenging: a very small projected revenue growth and significant prior-year commitments consuming most of that projected revenue. By city charter, the budget the City Manager submits to City Council must be balanced – projected revenues must equal proposed expenditures.
Although fiscal year 2017 (FY17) is not yet over, Finance Director David Holtmann doesn’t expect sales tax to hit budgeted projections. This shortfall will create challenges over the coming months for City departments. City Council has already committed to covering the shortfall with FY16 carryover funds.
Holtmann projects a conservative revenue estimate for FY18. Total revenue growth from budget FY17 to budget FY18 is estimated at only 0.9%. FY18 sales tax, the largest source of revenue, is estimated to be 1.3% lower than the FY17 budget, which makes this year’s budget process even more difficult. Growth over FY17 anticipated actual ending sales tax is estimated at 1.5% Helping offset some of the sales tax shortfall from FY17, other revenue sources, such as payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) from City Utilities and Licenses, Fines and Fees, are trending up slightly in FY17 and are projected to continue to do so next year, which officials hope will soften the impact of the sales tax revenue shortfall.
The FY18 budget attempts to address funding needs within all areas of the organization. However, consistently over the past six years, law enforcement and public safety have been the clear funding priority. In the proposed FY18 budget, 62% (or more than $51 million) of General Fund appropriations address public safety needs.
Burris says the FY18 budget prioritizes public safety, economic growth and increasing operational efficiencies. He plans to improve operational efficiency by addressing employee safety, recruitment and development, and succession planning.
City Council members proposed and passed two amendments to Burris’ submitted budget: the first reallocating $172,914 to hire three additional police officers and reclassify two police support staff positions and providing $20,000 of funding for an Intersection Safety Program.
For more information, contact Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, at 417-380-3352 or [email protected].