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.