City Employee Pension Costs are a Silent Budget Killer

City Employee Pension Costs are a Silent Budget Killer

The City Commission has avoided raising property taxes this year and instead has relied on an increase in the gas tax and one time transfers from reserve funds to reach a balanced budget. The recent workshops on the City’s budget have revealed that one of the major dynamics driving the $5 million general deficit this year […]

Proposed City Spending Outpaces Consumer Spending

The fiscal year 2014 budget process is officially under way. During last weeks City Commission meeting, Raoul Lavin, the City’s budget guru, gave City Commissioners a progress report on the previous year and a look at the 2014 general fund budget. Mr. Lavin told the Commissioners that as of now, the general fund budget for […]

City Staff Projects $5 Million Deficit for General Fund in 2014

At the City Commission meeting this week, city staff will provide commissioners with their first budget update for the 2014 cycle. The update will provide information on how the budget for 2013 is matching up with actual spending and a forecast of the 2014 General Fund. Information for the other funds, including electric and gas, […]

COT Has Been Spending Reserves Each Year Since 2006

To understand where you are, sometimes it is useful to look at where you have been. With the recent approval of a 15% property tax increase to plug the hole in the COT’s General Fund, Tallahassee Reports decided to take a look back. The first task was to look back at the budgets over the previous […]

City Government Burden on Tallahassee Economy Growing

Tallahassee Reports has completed an analysis that indicates that the COT government spending has increased as a percentage of the Tallahassee’s Gross Domestic Product from 2005-2008. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the measure of all goods and services provided. Using Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) data on Gross Domestic Product and City of Tallahassee expenditure data, the analysis indicates the COT GDP grew 11.6%, while […]

Questions About Assistant City Manager Answers

On Tuesday, September 8th, Assistant City Manager Raul Lavin addressed several issues on The Morning Show with Preston Scott. Research by Tallahassee Reports indicates that answers given by Mr. Lavin on the deferred compensation and the electric utility reserve funds are not consistent with information contained in publicly available documents. Deferred Compensation On the deferred compensation, Mr. […]

COT Reserve Funds Exceeds $172 Million

With the Tallahassee City Commission taking a serious look at raising taxes and cutting services, Tallahassee Reports – and a number of other interested citizens – have begun to dig into the proposed 2010 budget. Tallahassee Reports has focused its analysis on the City’s “Reserve Accounts.”  The City has reserve accounts for the General Fund, Electric Fund, […]

City Spending Increases Isolated to Three Areas

In our last report, Tallahassee Reports analyzed the expenditure trend of the City of Tallahassee’s $133,000,000 general fund over the period of 2005 to 2008. The analysis indicated that expenditures over that period exceeded population growth to the tune of approximately $23 million. When adjusted for a inflation over that period, expenditures added approximately $12 million. This report […]

The Budget Shortfall – Revenue Options

The recent revelation that the City of Tallahassee has a budget shortfall of approximately $7 million for the upcoming fiscal year has started a debate on how to best deal with this issue. Should the city commission raise taxes, cut services, or implement some combination of both? In this article, Tallahassee Reports looks into one side […]