During the City of Tallahassee budget workshop on Monday, June 23rd, staff reported to the elected officials that the budget for FY 2015 was balanced with no increase in property taxes.
The proposed General Fund budget will increase from $137.4 million in FY 2014 to $141.6 million in FY 2015.
To balance the budget, staff increased the transfer of revenue from the electric fund by almost $5 million.
This means that the City is expecting an additional “profit” from electric services in FY2015 and instead of returning the excess revenues to customers, the increase in revenue will be used to balance the General Fund budget.
The hot topic discussed between Commissioners was the need to address the crime problem in Tallahassee.
City Manager Anita Favors relayed to the Commissioners that the Police Chief said that “Tallahassee is ranked second in the state of Florida, only behind Miami, in per-capita violent crime.”
The City Manager recommended that six police officer positions be added. Last year, the police department requested six officers, but the request was denied by the City Commission.
The budget proposes a 2.5 percent merit salary increase for non-union employees. The City’s portion of the cost of employee health insurance is estimated to increase by approximately 4.76 percent, with employees sharing in the increase.
Also, salary and benefit adjustments for Fire are included as provided in the current collective bargaining agreement. Fire salary adjustments average 3 percent. The City is currently in negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement with Police.
City Commissioners will hold a final budget workshop on July 8, and two public hearings on the proposed FY2015 budget will be held on September 10 and 22. The new fiscal year begins October 1.
Thanks for detailing this information, Steve. One thing I would point out is that it should not be too surprising that the City balances its budget with money from the utilities. With so many of the properties inside the City boundaries not even being on the tax roles, the way the City can bring in additional revenues from the State government buildings who are not on the property tax roles is through utility consumption. I expect the City to actually raise either utility rates or property taxes in the near future because as Richard points out above we are always in danger of the next hurricane and if we keep stealing from the utility reserve we are putting ourselves in a perilous position.
Yet another reactive decision made by the city manager and her cast of clowns. Somebody is forgetting that Tallahassee and this general area is always in danger of being the target of the next hurricane. Can’t the outages be remembered? The cost of reconstruction of the electric facilities could exceed the five million dollar mark with a storm of the size of Kate – which wasn’t even a hurricane strength by the time it reached Tallahassee.
Way past time for a huge change in leadership in city government in my opinion.
“City Manager Anita Favors relayed to the Commissioners that the Police Chief said that “Tallahassee is ranked second in the state of Florida, only behind Miami, in per-capita violent crime.””
Remember when the editor of the Tallahassee Democrat,Bob Gabordi, disputed the high crime stats in our area refusing to believe the data because it made the sheriff look bad?
The city commissioners refusing to add officers is reprehensible and validates the incompetency of Miller and Gillum regarding public safety. Add in Scott Maddox’s alliance with the sheriff and his agenda to constantly undermine TPD and we have leaders who have done nothing to make the community safer. If citizens want a safer community perhaps they should be serious about voting out Miller and Gillum in the August election.