City budget to top $14 million
By Tara DeRock Mahoney
Senior Staff Writer
Madison City Manager David Nunn presented the draft fiscal year 2009 budget at Monday night’s regular council meeting.
Revenues and expenses for the city’s general fund for 2009 are expected to hover around $6.5 million. The size of the city’s general fund has approximately doubled over the past six years, while the millage rate has remained steady at around three mils. The total city budget, including water and sewer, gas, and sanitation, SPLOST, hotel/motel, and various investment funds, will near $14 million this year. That’s actually a 32 percent decrease in the total 2008 budget, as various capital projects—including the city’s new water reclamation facility—are completed.
Budget cuts in at least 12 general-fund line items also helped to trim the budget. Only three departments are expected to see budget increases of more than 10 percent and $10,000.
“It’s tough times but we’re trying to keep everything in check,” said Nunn.
The new expenditures include $15,000 for consulting and matching grant funds for the Historic Preservation Commission, which has qualified for a grant to digitize its design-guidelines publication; $97,000 for the observance and celebration of the city’s 2009 Bicentennial, including nearly $70,000 for new, bronze historic community markers; and a 28 percent increase—to $169,000—for the city’s fire department.
Included in the budget this year are a series of “frequently asked questions” that city officials regularly field. Here’s a sampling, with answers compiled by the city:
What is a budget?
A budget is a financial plan for a city. It includes both estimates of resources available, including revenues and fund balance, and appropriations that are the authority to spend money for specific purposes. The budget document is prepared to provide information about the City, both financial information and operational/policy information, from a variety of perspectives and degrees of detail.
What is a fiscal year?
A fiscal year is a 12-month operating cycle that comprises a budget and financial reporting period. The City’s fiscal year begins on July 1 and ends on June 30.
From where does the city obtain its revenues?
From local, state, and federal taxes, licenses, fines and forfeitures, in addition to payments for municipal services, such as Water and Sewer, Gas, and Solid Waste.
What is a millage rate?
Millage is the taxation rate expressed in mills per dollar. One mill equals one-tenth of a cent. When the City adopts its annual budget, it determines the tax rate that must be applied on property in order to generate the necessary revenue in addition to all other sources that are available. The proposed tax rate for the City of Madison for the 2007 tax year is 3.132 mills, or $3.13 per $1,000 of taxable value.
What is a budget amendment?
A budget amendment is a resolution adopted by the City Council which alters the adopted budget by appropriating additional monies to a particular department, decreasing appropriations to a particular department or transferring funds from one department to another.