Staff are completing work on the final draft of the proposed 2012-2013 budget. We are giving it finishing touches before sharing with the City Council at the September 6 Council Work Session.
My goal is to offer the Council a draft budget that they can feel comfortable adopting later that same evening at the Council meeting. The Council must set the City’s 2012 preliminary tax levy at the September 6 Council meeting. They do not need to adopt a budget, just the preliminary tax levy. The preliminary tax levy is the City’s maximum levy, so it’s important to set a number that will be big enough, but not too big.
I’ve been working with staff to prepare a General Fund budget draft with a total tax levy increase in 2012 of less than 2% and a levy increase in 2013 of less than 3%. It’s a tough challenge, but I think that trying to keep the levy increase to around this level is important. We want to be sensitive to local economic conditions and keep our municipal services strong.
I plan to finish talks with Department Heads tomorrow and get stuff out to Council Members tomorrow afternoon. I’ll update this blog next week with the results of our discussion.