The Portland City Council’s Finance Committee tonight will begin digging through the details of a $206.8 million municipal budget for the 2013 fiscal year (beginning July 1), kicking off about two months of hearings, meetings and workshops on the spending plan.
The first draft of nearly $207 million was unveiled last night by City Manager Mark Rees (skip ahead for a city synopsis of the proposed budget, including property tax impacts and new initiatives). Important dates to mark on the calendar are an April 9 City Council workshop on the Capital Improvements Plan budget, the April 23 presentation of the education portion of the budget to the council by the school board, an April 30 public hearing on the school budget, the May 7 council vote on the school budget, a May 14 council workshop on municipal spending, the May 15 public vote on the school budget, and the May 21 council vote on the overall budget.
Scattered around those milestone events in the budgeting process will be several committee meetings (Finance Committee meetings dealing with one portion of the budget or another are tonight, Thursday, April 10, April 12 and April 25 — for the city’s entire announcement of the draft budget and full schedule of hearings and workshops and such, click here).
Here’s a portion of that announcement detailing some highlights of Rees’ proposed budget for fiscal year 2013:
The City Manager’s FY13 budget submission calls for a structurally balanced budget, operating revenues equal operating expenses, and includes a proposed 2.9 percent property tax rate increase. The budget also includes several initiatives including the creation of a Waterfront Management Group, streamlining the city’s permitting and inspections process and an overhaul of the city’s website to ensure that it is meeting the needs of the public. The budget also highlights several signs of economic improvement including increases in excise tax and building permits, $230,000 and $150,000 respectively, as well as fully funding of the Creative Economy TIF at $100,000. The city anticipates energy savings in excess of $870,000 resulting in large part from hundreds of energy efficiency upgrades completed this year. The mild winter included additional good news with a savings of $225,000 for salt purchases. The proposed combined tax rate increase for both city and school is 3.2 percent, which for a home valued at $227,000 means a total tax increase of $133.93.