The proposed FY2007/2008 is online at the city’s website.
The city council’s budget workshop is Saturday, August 18th, 8:30am, and the public is invited.
I’m taking my son to college, so I won’t be able to attend the meeting, guess I will ask my questions here.
Pg 267 of the budget
The $400,000 Debt service fund transfer into the TIF, can you explain a reason? (Other than the TIF district showing a $700,000 shortfall for 07/08) What is the legality of transfering funds from the debt service fund to the TIF district?
The TIF is again showing nearly a $200,000 deficit for 06/07, and stated in the opening statements it says once again that IF everything goes as planned, possibly the TIF will be self sufficient after ’08.
Also, under revenues on that same page, why the great disparity between taxes collected on behalf of the City of Keller? Why would tax revenues drop by 50% in a single year?
As always, the TIF page is the first page I look at. Apparently with the nearly half million dollar transfer into the district, the former Mayor was wrong once again about the TIF being self sustaining. This has been going on for too long—the administraition saying the TIF is fine, but yet it continues to run a deficit for over a decade.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the Arthouse and Uptown get on the books quicker rather than later.
Apparently is going to miss revenues by nearly $650,000.00
The good thing is the expenses are also being kept $650,000 below what was budgeted
Things that jump out at me:
Under Department Division/Goals in 06/07 one of the stated goals was
“Maintain passholder attrition rate at 25% or less”
The proposed budget states:
“Maintaining passholder attrition rate 35% or less”
That should be addressed with Dona and the management staff at the Pointe. Raising the expected attrition rate by 30% is unacceptable.
The other item that jumped out at me was that we had 9.5 fewer FTE’s at the Pointe this year than last, with nearly 600 more passholders. Was there that much fat last year?
Maybe I’ll print the rest of the budget off and peruse it over the weekend. One day I will need to get a real life.
One other quick thing, can you explain the large number of promotions budgeted for next fiscal year?
There seems to be an inordinate amount of them compared to years past.
Where is the meeting location? Not wanting to let Doug get all the comments in, I noticed that sales tax receipts for 2007 and 2008 are projected to increase 3.3% and 4.0% respectively, but in the past several years actual increases have been double digits. Are we just being conservative? Or, has retail growth plateaued?
I believe retail growth is in a plateau. The prior year’s gains were a combination of overall economic growth and some big-ticket retail growth. A surprising example was LA Fitness, presumably from long-term membership sales.
Another question….during the campaign for the library, it was stated by those in power, including city staff, that we could build a new library and a new fire station and not raise taxes.
The propsed budget does in fact raise taxes even though the rate stays the same. Funky quirk of Texas Budgeting law, but it is in fact an increase as property values went up 11%, so therefore it is the same as a tax increase.
If what the powers that be at the time were claiming was true, where is our “library dividend”? Shouldn’t we actually be seeing a sizable reduction in the tax rate if what they said was true?
Wish I could edit my last reply, looking at my notes, there is indeed an actual tax hike in the General Fund portion of the taxes.
As the Debt service went down by .008, they raised the General Fund taxes the same amount.
So, to me, that’s a “real” tax increase.
Jim said, “I believe retail growth is in a plateau.” What about Stein Mart? When they open we should get a good bump, right? After all the incentives the city gave Stein Mart were because we expected to make money off the project. We weren’t just giving money away to be nice.
But much of what we gave away were the very sales tax dollars that would have been our “bump.”
The budget workshop will be held at Town Hall, probably up the stairs and to the right. There should be signs.
No comment on any of my questions Jim? 😉
I’ve gone back through some of the old budgets and notes that I had, questions that I had that were never fully explained.
We consistently transfer over $1,000,000 from the Water & Wastewater fund for Administrative Services. Do we really have over a million dollars in admin services for the Water Department?
The budget shows the transfer of $75,000 less than last year, but yet we are adding an admin position to the W&W department.
And if you look at the breakdown on page 228, the actual expenses for Admin for the W&W for personnel is $725,000. If you look back at the ’03 budget, they were transferring $1,500,000 when their admin employee expenses were less than $500,000.
Are we transfering the profits from the W&W to the General Fund through this Admin transfer?
I’m not saying that’s the case, but I can’t see anywhere in the budget where this particular transfer is explained. It goes back as far as I have old budgets. There is a blurb about it in the policies that the transfer will be for only the costs associated with the Administration. Are they including building costs and such? And how is it justified?
Bet you will be dreading that you opened this discussion thread.
One other thing then back to work, I don’t particularly care, but this may get some of the Statue crowd up in arms.
Page xxiii, “The revenues and expenditures of the Public Arts Special Revenue Fund have been transferred and incorporated into the General Fund beginning with fiscal year 07/08. The projected ending balance of $145,855 at Sept. 30, 2007 has also been transferred to the General Fund”
So, is that the end of the Arts money finally?
No comment on any of my questions Jim?
Just compiling questions, since I’m still reading it myself. Note to readers: the reduced City of Keller contribution to the TIF is a state-mandated accounting issue which has no real effect. With or without this accounting issue, the actual tax revenue of the TIF is about $450,000 short of the debt payment. Next year the TIF expects to recover.
You’ll have to ask your other councilmen. The next art purchase will be a little more difficult, politically, to vote against—it’s a statue to put in the Keller Veteran’s Park. I might be the only one to vote against it.
I haven’t looked closely at Water & Wastewater, but my guess is that much of the Administrative cost is for contracted services, equipment rental, etc.
Sorry I missed the budget workshop, is there anything important that I missed?
what did I miss?